What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Inferior
This topic is about The Inferior
SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. YA SciFi, about ~15 years ago (2000-2010?). A boy lives in a world where the only plants are poisonous moss, and all species eat only each other to survive. (Spoilers inside)

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message 1: by Charlie (last edited Apr 04, 2019 12:11AM) (new)

Charlie (snackrat) | 2 comments INITIAL WORLD SETTING
Each species has there own territory, all of the same approximate size and shape. Because the only plants are poisonous mosses, the species eat each other - either the spoils of war or raids, or by trading old and infirm. All the species show some awareness or intelligence but do not share any common languages. If a species is hunted to extinction, its territory is curiously repopulated by something new within a few days, creating an arms race from its neighbours to gather as much meat from them before they become aware of the hostility of the world they live in.

One day the protagonist (human) sees a stranger crash from the sky (also human). This is a huge deal because all the neighbours are aliens and his tribe is small. And nobody is able to fly. She seems to have come from somewhere else, yet he can understand her, also unheard of.
She reveals that they can communicate because she has a special artifact that translates (it's usually referred to as 'translator ball' by the protag). Though it has limitations because it has to work within the listeners experience (the example she provide is 'vegetable' becoming 'edible moss' because he doesn't understand what a vegetable is.)

Here I remember pieces but not necessarily their order:
-> a member of one of the other species manages to acquire the translator ball. It is now able to communicate with enough neighbouring species to form hunting alliances. The protag's tribe is largely destroyed and the protag is forced to migrate through hostile territories.
-> his world is revealed by the girl to be an arena: the sky is false, and billions of rich citizens watch criminals and political prisoners, and their descendants through generations, fight in eternal combat. When a tribe is wiped out the 'team' 'loses', and a new batch of prisoners is rotated in, usually with no knowledge or memory.
- the protag joins the sky girl in travelling through to reach one of the arena's exit points, trying to recover the translator ball or avoid hunting parties along the way.
- at one point they come across a separate batch of humans freshly added, who are resistant to attempt leaving for religious reasons (that their previous lives earned it? or that dying in the arena earns them a new life? something like that)
- the girl's ship looked like a sphere and was stolen from arena maintenance iirc. I think she might have been a protester (or part of a group) trying to break down the arena from the inside.

message 2: by Charlie (last edited Apr 04, 2019 01:24AM) (new)

Charlie (snackrat) | 2 comments SOLVED on another site: it's 'The Inferior' from The Bone World Trilogy! By Peadar Ó Guilín.

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