RATGIRL: Song of the Viper by Gayle C. Krause
Publication date: January, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
My first forage into the dystopian world of storytelling was with ‘The Hunger Games’. Being so in love with that story, I’d been reluctant to revisit the dystopian genre for fear that I would be disappointed, but from the minute I started reading ‘Ratgirl’, I knew that I would love the story and would feel the flame return for dystopian storytelling.
‘Ratgirl’ was a brilliant depiction of future society. The author had cleverly combined a number of real-life issues and examined how these issues would have grown in the future. She created a brilliant setting of underground city dwellers who could only exit at night due to the dangerous heat and radiation given off by the Sun. The topic of rats was also a brilliant concoction as it shows a more fearful view of the future where humans are no longer top of the food chain and all powerful, but instead on the same level as rats with whom they have to compete with for food and survival.
My love for this book was further intensified by the arrival of some amazing characters whom I fell in love with and rooted for from the get go. Jax was a no-nonsense yet likeable role model, whose bravery and dedication to her younger brother was admirable and had me supporting her every step of her journey. Colt was also a lovely dishy hero who I drooled over from the start. His mission to protect the less fortunate had him adopting the future vision of Robin Hood, and makes a brilliant parallel to the past and present of today, and how today’s legends can still be known in the future.
My favourite character however was Alder. I absolutely adored his loveable nature and admired everything he did for those he loved. Although I loved Rafe, a sewer-dweller and bad boy with a heart of gold, and loved the sincerity of his love for Astoria and the protective nature he had for his friends, I really connected to Alder and Astoria’s story of forbidden love. At times I was laughing when Rage snubbed Alder only to receive no response because all of Alder’s attention and worry was fixed firmly on Astoria.
The storyline regarding the corrupt leader was brilliantly written, and to discover that his kryptonite of his flesh-and-blood children was so difficult for him to find for himself due to his own malicious actions of making women infertile and therefore unable to bear his child.
The action scenes were suspenseful and heart-pounding. I loved the Jax’s originality when it came to her plots and plans, but will these be enough to thwart or fool the evil dictator who holds both Jax’s life and all those she holds dear in his power. You’ll have to read to find out!
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.