The Inferior (Bone World 1) by Peadar Ó Guilín [Book Review]

Coming-of-age & learning-the-world

I became interested in this book when I researched new science fiction and fantasy releases for May and came across The Deserter book two of The Bone World Trilogy by Peadar Ó Guilín. 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.

The Inferior is about Stopmouth and his coming-of-age and learning the world. He is considered slow and most likely soon to be volunteered for flesh-trade by the tribe. So far his family has protected him. His brother Wallbreaker is everything he isn’t, social, witty and a successful hunter. Then one day he saves his brother’s life by freeing him from capture killing some of the capturers but he gets captured and injured himself instead while his brother flees never looking back. Fortunately for him strange globes in the sky appear and starts to fight each other allowing him to flee while his capturers are occupied watching the fireworks. Injured he returns to the village only to find his brother taking the fame for the killed capturers. His brother seems very self-centered and running his own agenda. He married Stopmouths first love and when a woman like nobody has seen before crashes a globe in their village he wants to marry her too. She has perfect skin and a brilliant smile. But she is also not as subservient as the clan’s women. She takes care of Stopmouth’s recovery. Her name is Indrani and she is from the Roof and clearly unprepared for the savage lives of the tribe. But she seems to take a liking for Stopmouth and he for her. I like love in my stories when there are obstacles to overcome and here there are plenty, she is married to his brother, she is from a different culture and don’t even speak his language for starters.

The human tribe is also threatened by extinction as neighboring tribes band together in an unprecedented way and attack the remaining tribes one by one.  Tension builds up nicely about survival, jealousy and truth until a great betrayal forces him and Indrani to run. They set out for the Roof but the journey is long. That is when we learn about the world. Another endeavor I enjoyed.

Inferior is the kind of story I like. It is a world built on some kind of lie or hidden truth. There are still secrets about the world I want to learn after reading this novel but I guess that is what you have book two and three for. There are quite a few mysteries our hero figures out along the way though. The mix of primitive and technology is another thing that I like in general and here the gadgets are plausible and adds to the story.

Stopmouth is a likable character you will like to read about and he grows from an insecure youth to a solid leader of men. I liked all the characters even the ones I didn’t like.

The Inferior is captivating, intense and slightly disturbing. Savage tribes of creatures fight for survival while the Roof people watch from their high technology haven. It is a great love story but it is also about the have and the have nots. I wonder what is going on down there. Is it a punishment or is it some kind of breeding experiment? I love to find out in the next one out in May.

This is Peadar Ó Guilín’s promising debut novel. I hope to read many more. This one is supposed to be a young adult book but is quite enjoyable for older kids too. It gets my whole-hearted recommendation.

Book Information

The Inferior (Bone World book 1) by Peadar Ó Guilín – Corgi (2008, first 2007)
I bought my copy from Amazon UK (US)

STOPMOUTH AND HIS family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live, they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind. It is a savage, desperate existence. And for Stopmouth, considered slowwitted hunt-fodder by his tribe, the future looks especially bleak. But then, on the day he is callously betrayed by his brother, a strange and beautiful woman falls from the sky. It is a moment that will change his destiny, and that of all humanity, forever. With echoes of Tarzan, Conan the Barbarian, and The Truman Show, Peadar Ó Guilín’s debut is an action—and idea-packed—blockbuster that will challenge your perceptions of humanity and leave you hungry for more