Book Review: Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner

Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication date: October 2010
ISBN: 9780823422852

Source: review copy provided by publicist

Nightshade City

Deep beneath Trillium city there lies a hidden city of rats. Run by an evil dictator and his vicious army for the last decade, the rats of the Catacombs are oppressed and run down.  But, a secret rebellion is stirring among the inhabitants, led by a mysterious figure from the past and three young rats who all lost their parents in the overthrow of the last ruler.  Will they be able to defeat these wicked rulers before it is too late?

Things I Liked:
The book has an exciting non-stop action story that carries the reader along.  I got sucked into the adventure and suspense of not knowing if our favorite characters would survive.  It's a well-written and thrilling fantasy story with plenty of familiar themes, but fleshed out with the unusual rat characters.  It also had just a touch of a creepy element, with the cruel and wicked leaders who have no pity.  Kids will fall in love with the rat heroes and be taken in by the story.

Things I Didn't Like:
I had a hard time getting into the book at first.  I thought it might be because I'm not usually a fan of animal stories (never read many when I was a kid), but I also think it might have been just a bit slow at the start.  I did get pulled into the story, even if it seemed pretty predictable.  While the ending wrapped up almost neatly, the last chapter (and prologue) seemed a bit odd to me.  I'm not sure if its setting up for another book or just an open and rather creepy ending.  Didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story though.

Redwall books by Brian Jacques and Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: X
some things are implied, but nothing explicitly stated

v-factor: ->->->
quite a bit, some of it a little gory, but nothing overwhelming

Overall rating: ****

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Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.

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