Peadar O Guilin
David Fickling (Ranom House), Jun 2008, $16.99
Survival of the fittest is understood by Stopmouth and his tribe; either kill or be someone else’s meal; although his people expect him to be fodder because his stupidity makes them believe Stopmouth is inferior to them. Expediting his demise is his brother who betrays Stopmouth.
In this dangerous environs of the law of eat or be eaten, Indrani falls from the sky landing in the midst of Stopmouth’s tribe. They debate what to do with the intruder as some want to trade her to those who relish fresh human meat. Stopmouth is attracted to her and wants to keep the beautiful intelligent woman who fell from the glowing Roof as his even though that violates the one commandment of eat or be eaten. Meanwhile she hides from her protector the truth of what she knows about the origins of her benefactor and his tribe and their prime reason for existence.
Avoiding a spoiler makes the review difficult to write as the key to the story line and the relationship between the lead pair is the knowledge that Indrani possesses although that takes quite a while before the obviously not so stupid Stopmouth figures it out. The action is fast-paced but not enough of it especially for the intended young teen audience as much of the plot is used to describe in too much detail the surface world. Still this homage to Tarzan in the Twilight Zone will engage the reader who will be appalled to learn the truth behind the connection between the Roof top intellects and the INFERIOR surface dwellers.