Krys's Reviews > The Inferior

The Inferior by Peadar Ó Guilín
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's review
Oct 02, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, dystopian-post-apocalyptic, young-adult, monster-hunting, horror-thriller, fantasy, autographed, medium-length-book, series-i-love, series, science-fiction
Recommended for: Lovers of Dystopia and dark plots
Read in July, 2008 , read count: 2

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...and the second read made me tear up in different spots than I had in the first read! Wow, this got better upon re-reading it! Whoda thunk.

And now... on to "The Deserter"... with a passion.


"And ten heartbeats past, you grabbed a piece of flesh out of my hands. Didn't you like the taste? Because if you can be a savage, maybe I could be civilized? It's possible, isn't it?"

Stopmouth is a young man in a world where humans live solely by hunting and consuming flesh. He is a hunter blessed with incredible speed, which is the only thing that saves him on a daily basis. Stopmouth, considered stupid by his tribe due to a stutter that impedes his speech, must prove himself constantly in order to survive. In his world when people outlive there usefulness they volunteer for flesh trades between the other beasts, because some beasts prefer their flesh still living. Stopmouth will be encouraged to volunteer if he ever fails.

One day Stopmouth's older brother, Wallbreaker, betrays him on a hunt. Thinking him dead Wallbreaker leaves Stopmouth behind to save his own neck. This cowardly act forms a gap between the two brothers that is only widened further when Wallbreaker takes all the credit for himself and uses that to buy himself a bride; a young woman named Mossheart, who Stopmouth has always had feelings for.

There are other things going on in this world. For one thing, there are people who watch over the tribes. Not gods, surely, but real people, as evidenced when a woman named Indrani falls from the sky. This strange and beautiful woman fuels desires in Stopmouth's heart that Mossheart never did. When Stopmouth breaks his legs and knows that he is on the volunteer list Indrani saves his life by splinting his legs and preventing the elders from taking him. Thus begins a friendship that will blossom throughout the course of the book, even though Stopmouth knows nothing of this strange woman who fell from the sky, or what that even means in the grand scheme of things. And even though his brother has designs to make her his in an endeavor to become the greatest warrior the ancestors have ever boasted.

"Are you truly human?" Stopmouth asked. He hoped she'd open her eyes and look at him. Another part of him wanted her to keep them closed so he could watch her without making her angry.

They stayed closed.

"I'm human," she muttered. "As human as you are, anyway."

"What do you mean?" he asked, puzzled.

She lifted her head. "None of your men have hair on their faces. You live on a diet of pure meat, most of it non-human. Your women never die in childbirth. You rarely get sick, any of you. And all of a sudden I'm the one who's not human?"

O'Guilin's first installment in the trilogy is a marvel. A... Marvel... plain and simple. It's one of those rare books that comes along that has such depth to it that the reader gets instantly overwhelmed and transported. It reminds me of many things that I love... "Watership Down", "Lord of the Flies", "Tarzan"... it echoes many things I adore. It also speaks to me of Frank Frazetta paintings and of a world that blends complicated Ethical dilemmas with a sensuous carnality. Do not belittle O'Guilin's own originality though, because trust me this book oozes original thought and raw, unadulterated talent. O'Guilin has such skill at creating a believable and real world that draws you in. Added to this is O'Guilin's wonderful ability to write such dynamic and interesting characters that the reader actually gives a damn about. This is a rare thing as many writer's don't really seem to be able to pull all of these elements together, particularly with such a concept as O'Guilin has established. This world, in all of it's brutality, is complex and surreal. Watching the humans go out again and again to face their doom inspires the reader and leaves them with an intense empty-stomach feeling with every campaign. I would love to say that it's jaw dropping, but in honour of O'Guilin I would prefer to call it eye popping, and you will just have to trust me on that. Fans of action novels will thrill in the details that O'Guilin shares, because there's enough bloodshed to make any gore enthusiast squirm. But there is a lot of heart and soul to be found in the relationships between the characters that any softhearted reader will find themselves tearing up, as I did. Boys will love it, girls (like me) will love it... It is not for the faint of heart. But it's for readers who like having their hearts stopped.

Brilliant. Utterly. I await the next book in the series with heightened enthusiasm.

"Your blood has come back to me," He whispered, "and so will you."

Bring me more blood, O'Guilin. My soul demands it.

- review courtesy of
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