Hello dearies! Today I'm very excited to be part of the RATGIRL blog tour, through Xpresso Book Tours.
As soon as I read the description of this book, I knew I had to check it out. A dystopian retelling of the Pied Piper with a kick-butt heroine? Yes please! And let me tell you, it didn't disappoint! First, some info on the book:
RATGIRL: Song of the Viper by Gayle C. Krause
Publication date: January, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old streetwise orphan, Jax Stone is an expert at surviving in a dangerous city, where rats rival the homeless for food and shelter, but she’s an amateur at fighting the immoral mayor when he kidnaps her little brother. Desperation demands she quickly master the role of courageous opponent. She uses her hypnotic singing voice to lead rats to their death, and all the children to safety, in a dying city cursed by the deadly sun.
I have to tell you, I loved this book. It was gritty and dark and sometimes kind of terrifying...and I couldn't put it down. The world-building was visceral and superbly detailed, with tons of wonderful description that wove so well through the story that it never slowed down the action. I haven't read a book with such great world-building in a long time.
I was also really impressed with the character development. Jax Stone, our heroine, was brave and strong and scrappy, and the author did a great job with her voice. I could see through her eyes and feel her emotions, which was often gut-wrenching. The rest of the characters were also really well done; I got a sense of their personalities, motivations, and individual quirks and they all stood out on the page.
As for the action, boy, this book kept me on the edge of my seat! I think it's amazing when an author can completely rip the rug out from under me...I think the story's going one way and WHOOSH...there it goes, off in another - and usually more exciting - direction. This happened to me several times in this story and I was breathless trying to read faster wondering what would happen next. Three quarters of the way through, there were a couple places where the pacing felt a little inconsistent to me, but it didn't keep me from rushing towards the end to find out what would happen. I was semi-familiar with the Pied Piper fairy tale...and after finishing Ratgirl was so inspired I had to look it up to remind myself of the original story. This retelling worked really, really well, especially within the world the author created.
Overall, Ratgirl is a well-written, exciting, compulsively readable story, with a gritty, well-developed world and complex characters you'll love to root for. It sounds like there's going to be a sequel, and I can't wait to read it!
My Rating: 4 Stars
Also, enter to win a KINDLE in this amazing giveaway!
About the Author
Gayle C. Krause is a member of SCBWI, YALITCHAT and The Cliffhouse YA Wonderwriters.She writes across the genres. Her first publication credit was a short story in Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2 (2006). The Storyteller’s Daughter, her YA historical short story, was featured in Timeless, A YA Historical Romance anthology from Pugalicious Press (2012).Her new YA novel, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper was published in February 2013 (Noble Young Adult).
During the course of her writing career Ms. Krause has served as assistant editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a dark fantasy online magazine developed for young teens, a children’s book reviewer for Children’s Literature .com and she offers a critique service for children’s writers at First Peek Critique. (www.gayleckrause.com)
She also runs a blog that encourages new children’s writers through contests, book reviews and author interviews. http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.com.