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Reviewed by Dinah Roseberry for Readers' Favorite
One great thing about young adult novels these days is that they are for everyone. Ree Kimberley’s Rat City (The Rat City Chronicles Book 1) is no exception. This book will keep you turning the pages as you become immersed in the landscape of teen-hood and slightly uncomfortable tinges of science fiction (the believable kind that makes one gulp). In this story, Shannon struggles with normal teenage issues, including being somewhat of an outcast to his peers. Still, a good character trait slips through when he reluctantly takes up for underdog Felix (not actually realizing that he was about to fall knee deep into…well, something not so nice) and becomes drawn to that underdog’s sister, Ally. Here was a family that was so strange that he should have run off screaming before things headed down a wrong path. Too late, of course; he was hooked. The scariest character in Rat City is Killian who has an…affinity…for rats and genetic engineering. And, naturally, that affinity extends to the three teens—well “affinity” for the kids might not be the right word, more like “obsession.” But why? And what do drugs have to do with all this?
Is this a horror story? Yes. Mainstream? Yes. Suspense ? To be sure. There’s even a light romance going on here that will have you rooting for the hero. In Rat City, Ree Kimberley has a perfect finger on the pulse of teens and their internal dialogs as well as their reactions to the world around them—despite its weirdness in this treatment. All the characters are endearing—well, not Killian; no one will like him, but isn’t that what it’s all about? A satisfying ending made me not only happy, but expectant for the next book about Kimberley’s characters fighting yet another day. This could easily be a TV series! I loved it!