The Deserter (Bone World 2) by Peadar Ó Guilín [Book Review]

Going to the Roof to save his love

I became interested in this book when I researched new releases for May and came across it. The blurb sounded good and I like this kind of stories about segregated societies kept in the dark by technologically superior conspirators and how one of the deceived finally starts to learn the truth. I immediately bought The Inferior and you can read my review here. This is my review of the Deserter.

We left Stopmouth  and Rockface alone with the refugees from the Roof and Indrani on a globe flying to the Roof at the end of The Inferior. Something happened on the Roof making them want Indrani back again.

On the Roof you can record every minuscule detail of every second of your life and many of its denizens do. Indrani is being hunted for something she saw. Some split second glance in her memory has a secret that changed their minds about saving her and made her a hunted woman. That technology reminds me of some of the life bloggers that carries a camera around in our own time. Not so far off then.

Down below it looks like the ones releasing new species gone one too far with the Diggers. They spread like wildfire planting their paralyzed live victims to feed their young ones, multiplying and multiplying.

Stopmouth has to leave for the Roof to find Indrani and weapons to fight the Diggers. But everything is not right on the Roof. The nanos that provides all their food and comforts are failing to a plague. The Upstairs has already failed, crowding the survivors into what is left. Indrani is in hiding and Stopmouth has to find her before it is too late. His people only have a few days before the Diggers reach them.

The Inferior took us on a journey of discovery on the bellow and The Deserter takes us on a similar journey through the Roof and Upstairs. I enjoy learning the world stories. Here we learn a lot about the people, politics, technology and a few things I wondered about in the Inferior like where the new species comes from. Stopmouth is having a rough time with massive culture chock and more people than he has ever seen before. But he also makes some new friends.

I found The Deserter less disturbing than The Inferior or maybe I got used to the cannibalism. There are some scary parts that might disturb younger kids though.

Some of the characters from the first book are back like Stopmouth, Rockface and Indrani but there are also a few new ones you will like. This is a character driven book and it shows in the quality of the characters. They are believable, well done and continues to grow throughout the story.

The governments Special Forces, the Elite are nano enhanced warriors with superhuman strength and speed.  There is a thought provoking sub plot about a boy who would do anything to become one. His sacrifice in the end was very emotional.

This is about the follies of hunger for power and I think it will be to the liking of both young and adults. The Government of the Roof is despicable in my opinion feeding the struggles of the people below to entertain the masses. They withhold every eatable seed from the people below forcing them to eat each other to create conflict. It is a classic case of bread and circus but now the bread is failing and the circus is among them.

The Deserter is quite an enjoyable read with a lot of adventure, tense moments, revelations, action and love. I would really like to read more of Peadar Ó Guilín after this. His characters are just like I like them and the clash of primitives against technology is a favorite theme of mine. You might read The Inferior and The Deserter as a standalone duology but it is part of a trilogy. I have no idea when the last book will be out though I await it with high expectancy.

Book Information

Review of the first book: The Inferior

The Deserter (The Bone World book 2) by Peadar Ó Guilín
David Fickling Books (2011) – Amazon US | UK

The humans are weak and vulnerable. Soon the beasts that share their stone-age world will kill and eat them. To save his tribe, Stopmouth must make his way to the Roof, the mysterious hi-tech world above the surface. But the Roof has its own problems. The nano technology that controls everything from the environment to the human body is collapsing. A virus has already destroyed the Upstairs, sending millions of refugees to seek shelter below. And now a rebellion against the Commission, organized by the fanatical Religious, is about to break. Hunted by the Commission’s Elite Agents through the overcrowded, decaying city of the future, Stopmouth must succeed in a hunt of his own: to find the secret power hidden in the Roof’s computerized brain, and return to his people before it is too late. Peadar O Guilin has followed his extraordinary debut The Inferior with an equally original and pulse-racing sequel in which human primitivism collides with futuristic technology