Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Inferior” as Want to Read:
The Inferior
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Inferior (The Bone World Trilogy #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  455 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Ember (first published October 3rd 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Inferior, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Inferior

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,615)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I read this last year after noticing my flatmate had left it lying around on the coffee table and was intrigued by it.

I adored this book when I read it - I found it compelling and utterly disturbing. I still think about some of the creatures that O'Guilin describes and it gives me shivers. Think I'll reread it this year to see if it is actually as good as I remember.

I've just noticed that there is now a sequel so will definitely be rereading it.

This was my favourite book of 2008. Hands down. It's an absolutely thrilling read that did something books never do to me... I was unable to read anything else for another week following. That's a feat. Truly. Brilliant. Utterly. I wait for more of Peadar with great anticipation.

*upon a re-read in May of 2009, gearing up for my ARC copy of the second book, I find that I had a really emotional reaction to much of this book. It stills blows me away on many levels, and I was glad to revisit it...a
Sep 04, 2013 Bishop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
better than the hunger games!
Sep 08, 2012 PK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is not for just anyone, and I wasn't even sure it was for me when i came to the section of the novel where the tribe would eat the flesh, or sell the flesh of their fellow members, or family.

I was truly repulsed, and a little freaked out - about to put that book down - when it sort of dawned on me that their was a strangely human reason behind this freakish cannibalism; and that was what kept me reading.

This story pushes readers to the most extreme forms of survival - forget foraging
Ravenous Biblioworm
Rating: 4.5/5

Cave men! Read cave men! Caveman kills! Cave… man? O’ Guilin’s The Inferior book is pretty interesting. If you’re thinking why would I want to read a book about cavemen? Well, you just proved the title’s point… you egotist, elitist, selfish son of a … okay I won’t go there. But still just because you deem them inferior to us… doesn’t mean they aren’t worth reading. What could possibly be interesting about cave people? Apparently a lot. They are human after all. Something interesting
Keenan E
Oct 17, 2011 Keenan E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a fascinating new look on life. I mean you couldn't even tell when it was taking place until halfway through. In the book "The Inferior" it is eat or be eaten. Where a tribe of humans live in a city with four sections containing completely different species. The tribe is not new to killing to survive and must hunt the other species for their flesh which is food. This book gives a grim sort of reality to about life and nature. Then you learn how there are these floating globes that ...more
Jan 26, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre, 2012
The setting of "The Inferior" is very original. On a world, where the vegetation seems to be mostly poisonous, a tribe of savage humans fights intelligent non-humans for their meat in order to survive. The plot takes a lot of unexpected turns, with a number of very nice action scenes, tons of dismemberment and cannibalism, and even a love story. The ending was a bit unsatisfactory, but there is a lot of world building going on and the story would probably have been too big for a standalone volum ...more
Rachel Brown
The most disgusting book I've ever dipped into, and I'm not even talking about the cannibalism. Would make a good emetic.

Don't click the spoiler unless you have a strong stomach. There were many, many incredibly disgusting scenes, but this one struck me as emblematic:

(view spoiler)
Guy Haley
Jan 28, 2016 Guy Haley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this, and remember why science fiction lit your fire in the first place. Just stay out of butcher’s shops for a few days afterwards…

Bloody, visceral, and unashamedly masculine, once The Inferior sinks its teeth into you, it will not let go.

A gory story introduces us to a tribe of humans in a ruined city who ceaselessly war against rival bands of aliens. The reason? There’s nothing in it to eat but each other… There’s a great SF idea concept, revealed through the adventures of the stuttering
May 26, 2015 Jacob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"The Inferior" By Peadar Ó Guilín is a Fantasy, Fiction, and Adventure Novel. This Movie takes place in a world where there are Beasts and Other Monsters who Hunt,Kill and Murder for their Role in society. In the Story you see through the eyes Of Stopmouth a stuttering Mute but an Excellent hunter by his tribe. This Book can seem a little Weird and might disturb you a bit but if you look past all that you will find an excellent story about a Tribe fight for Survival.

This Novel has a lot and Bad
The Inferior
The Inferior was a amazing book it captured my attention just how I would want a book to do.It was a mix of thriller,mystery,and action.I completed the book and i liked it very much.So i know what happened and how it was.

The Inferior is about Cavemen and their families and their adventures that could have let to death.They were at rick of being extinct because of all the other species.There were mysterious creatures and there was also much difficulty within the family such as Stop Mo
Jun 09, 2016 DiegoR rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book “The Inferior”, Peadar Ó Guilín, tells a story of a boy, Stopmouth, in a tribe who has always loved his brother,Wallbreaker, but his Wallbreaker does not love him back. After the tribe leader dies, Wallbreaker tries to be tribe leader and gets the position. Wallbreaker gets a wife but then a mysterious woman drops from a Globe. Wall breaker marries Indrani, the mysterious woman, but Stop mouth also likes Indrani. After a long time, Stopmouth gets suspicious of Wallbreaker and breaks ...more
Michael Schmid
Jul 28, 2013 Michael Schmid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Also das Buch hat mich wirklich überrascht und es gibt definitiv nichts dran auszusetzen ... mal was ganz anderes und sau gut :D
Why haven't more people read this??? I first read this a few years ago... and I didn't get it. But reading it now. I LOVED IT! Is it necessarily for everyone... no. (I'm talking to you mom!) Those who need a happy ending, or nothing bad or heartbreaking to happen. Don't read this book.

But for the rest of us.....READ IT READ IT READ IT! O my gosh I LOVED this book!

It's like mind-blowingly complex and I'm actually not guessing everything ahead of time. It's VERY original. And I mean VERY! You kno
Oct 31, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This being a full disclosure type of livejournal that puts great store in the faith our readers place in our integrity and objectivity, it behooves us to point out that the author of today's object of reviewage is none other than whatsisname on that other livejournal with whom I have exchanged much witty banter and good natured badinage. We here at uglychicken livejournal inc wish to reassure whatever readers we might have that this will in no way affect our assessment of said object, and that h ...more
Tina (yAdultReview)
Originally posted at Nose in a Book

The beginning of this one was, in my opionion, boring and slow, and the writing felt more like middle-grade than YA, and the story was flimsy. Stopmouth has a brother who’s a lying liar, supposedly a “great warrior” but really a pathetic coward, and Stopmouth–called that because of his stutter–is ignored even though his hunting skills outweigh his brother’s. Things pick up when a woman the Tribe can’t understand falls from the sky, but things don’t start to get
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Stopmouth has always deeply admired and envied his older brother, Wallbreaker, for his hunting skills, his ability to speak without stuttering, and the love of Mossheart, one of the prettiest girls in the Human Tribe. Stopmouth's chances of a good match are low, because everyone assumes something's wrong with him because of his stutter. He didn't mind so much when he had the love of his mother and brother, but, after his mother Volunteers herself to be traded to rival creatures for food so that ...more
Tara Hall
Oct 08, 2011 Tara Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens, Boys
I picked up the sequel to this book first, and at first I was very confused. Then I realized it was book number two, so I came back to the first one. At first glance, this story was very strange. It's so far from reality, it took a bit of getting used to. But I kept reading because I was intrigued with the world-building. I am so glad I did.

The world is nothing short of fascinating. There are enough original cultures, religions, politics, and characters to make J.R.R. Tolkien jealous. It is, in
May 18, 2009 Shawna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Survival of the fittest is understood by Stopmouth and his tribe either kill or be someone else¿s meal although his people expect him to be fodder because his stupidity makes them believe Stopmouth is inferior to them. Expediting his demise is his brother who betrays Stopmouth.--- In this dangerous environs of the law of eat or be eaten, Indrani falls from the sky landing in the midst of Stopmouth¿s tribe. They debate what to do with the intruder as some want to trade her to those who relish fre ...more
Jul 07, 2016 Nella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Någonting har kastat mänskligheten tillbaka till vad som vid första anblicken verkar vara stenåldern, men som vid närmare granskning är något helt annat. Människorna lever i söderfallande, uråldriga städer, ovanför dem flyger globes omkring och iakttar allt som händer och ända sättet att få mat är genom jakt. Och människan är inte de ända som jagar...
I den här livsfarliga välden kämpar Stopmouth för att överleva tillsammans med sin mamma Flamehair och sin bror Wallbreaker. Men saker och ting är
Feb 21, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok I notice from the title page on goodreads that this is listed as book one of a trilogy - that was not apparent when I bought the book, so the air was rather blue when I raced to the end, only to be left on a cliffhanger (almost literally). However the second volume is now out - it is downloading to my kindle as we speak so I will be a happy bunny once again.

This book was another venture into a genre of my youth - fantasy/SF (not sure where this fits on that particular spectrum). I really enjo
This book has a lot of interesting concepts, and explores the idea of what makes us human and how do you decide who the "savages" are. Stopmouth lives in a world where the rule is kill or be killed. His people do not grow crops; all they eat is meat. They will kill other creatures for meat, but will also eat dead humans. And sometimes they will trade old or injured humans to other species in order to obtain other kinds of meat in return. Stopmouth's world changes when his older brother betrays h ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for

Stopmouth isn't the most respected hunter in the village, but he is the fastest. His speed makes him a valuable member of any hunting team because every team must come back with flesh. Lives depend on it. The consequences of a failed hunt don't just mean the possibility of starvation.

In Stopmouth's world, if there isn't enough flesh, members of the Tribe must volunteer to sustain their neighbors. If there aren't enough volunteers, the Tribe leaders
May 13, 2008 uroš rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fast paced and well concieved epic fantasy
Recommended to uroš by: Peadar Ó Guilín
The review is originally available at The Realms of Speculative Fiction -

Stopmouth is a young and resourceful hunter of the tribe of men. It is a harsh and competitive world where a wide variety of lethal and highly intelligent beast-like creatures abide. Since there seems to be no traditional sources of food, the law of survival culls down to the essentials – Eat or Be Eaten. But Stopmouth soon realizes that the source of the threat is not necessarily li
The back cover this book says, "THERE IS BUT ONE LAW: EAT OR BE EATEN."

And that pretty much sums it up. Stopmouth (so named because of a stutter) lives in a world where a small band of humans--about 3000 total--must hunt and eat other sentient creatures to survive. Conveniently, most of these creatures are not adorable; they look like giant spiders or horeshoe crabs or have four sets of arms, but still. They're smart.

Also, the old, weak, and injured among the Tribe are regularly "volunteered" in
Nov 02, 2011 Chandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first half of this book had me pretty darn interested. Then the protagonist left his village, and pretty much all his brother's character development became useless. And it seemed as though that character development was leading up to something important. I would add Peadar O' Guilin to my mental list of "Authors who can't use Set Ups and Pay Offs Worth Beans" list, except he actually used them once, what with that thing about how the Talker can glow. Why is that a feature someone bothered t ...more
Stopmouth isn’t the most respected hunter in the village, but he is the fastest. His speed makes him a valuable member of any hunting team because every hunting team must come back with flesh. Lives depend on it. The consequences of a failed hunt doesn’t just mean the possibility of starvation. In Stopmouth’s world, if there isn’t enough flesh, members of the Tribe must volunteer to sustain their neighbors. If there aren’t enough volunteers, the Tribe leaders choose people for this “honor”. Stop ...more
Sep 09, 2008 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Inferior begins with an adrenaline-pumping chase:

The rule was to keep running--Don't stop, don't die. The Tribe needed its strongest to survive. So Stopmouth fled for his life through the streets of Hairbeast territory, while it's non-human inhabitants looked on with indifference. Already the cries of his brother were fading behind him.
'Please, Stopmouth!'
The Armourbacks preferred living prey. When they caught Wallbreaker, they'd drive him home with spears to feed their young. The screams
Katrina Patton
Mar 30, 2012 Katrina Patton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Hunger Games or Sci-Fi
I have to say, this book took me completely by surprise.

I initially picked it up because I won the sequel in the Goodreads Giveaway, and wanted to read the first one before diving into the second. I hadn't read much about it, so I didn't know what it was about at all. From the cover of the second book, I thought it might be about an advanced society (more about that later) but it's the complete opposite.

This book (and I'm sure the series as a whole, when it's finished) has a *lot* going for it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Neptune's Children
  • Sudden Independents (Independents #1)
  • Bunker 10
  • Sweet Farts
  • One of the Survivors
  • Evil?
  • Blood Ocean (The Afterblight Chronicles, #11)
  • Thaw
  • Stone Cold
  • The Goodness Gene
  • Rising Shadow (The Soterians, #1)
  • Amongst the Ruins (The Chronicles of 2020, #1)
  • They Came From Below
  • Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083
  • Planet Pregnancy
  • Memory Boy (Memory Boy, #1)
  • Lord of the Deep
  • Larkstorm (The Sensitives, #1)

Other Books in the Series

The Bone World Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Deserter (The Bone World Trilogy, #2)
  • The Volunteer (The Bone World Trilogy, #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“She was pregnant, of course: pregnant women carried out all the Tribe's sacred rituals.” 2 likes
“His stutter didn't like the idea of wooing and silenced any attempts to broach the subject.” 2 likes
More quotes…