(Teresa Geering is the author of the excellent time-travel romance 'The Eye of Erasmus' - here).
With great trepidation, I began to read The Island of Whispers.
I hate Rats with a passion, but under the influential, cunning writing of Brendan Gisby, I found myself reading this in one long sitting.
Out of sight of prying eyes deep underground, live a colony of rats with imaginative names, such as Twisted Foot, his mate Grey Eyes and their offspring Soft Mover.
Their world is regimented and overseen by A King Rat, who ensures that only the strongest survive by having the weakest culled. These bodies are then in turn used for the feeding cycle.
As the Cold Cycle begins above ground so the breeding season begins below. All in their world is exactly as it should be....
Then the story takes a different turn. A group of the rats led by Twisted Foot and his mate Grey Eyes, who had been subjected to rape, decide to make a bid for freedom to the greener lands above, along with their offspring.
With unexpected help from the lower rat quarters, a bloody battle ensues and they are finally free but at what cost?
Keeping well hidden from four legs, (a nifty Jack Russell called Nipper) and the two legged variety of rat catcher, they set out to cross the sea to safety. Could they swim? They had no idea but were prepared to take that chance.
I found myself willing these little rats to overcome all of the obstacles put in their way, (and there were many) to obtain safety on the other side.
Twisted foot and his followers are pursued by the remaining rats in the colony that have orders to bring them back at the cost of their own lives.
I breathed a sigh of relief, as these intrepid adventurers finally make it to safety but again at what cost?
Do they set up a new colony and live happily ever after.......
At times, the song ‘Bright Eyes’ from Watership Down popped into my head. Was I getting to like these disgusting little furry creatures?
Would I highly recommend it?
The answer is a resounding yes for all age groups, because The Island of Whispers is extremely well written and thought out, albeit highly gory in places.
('The Island of Whispers' is available from Amazon.com here).