Rat Runners by Oisin McGann

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Rat Runners by Oisin McGann

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Near-future thriller with a great cast of characters and high octane plot. Very cool and we loved it!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: March 2013
Publisher: Corgi
ISBN: 0552566209

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Nimmo lives in a London of the future. It's not a great place to be. Under constant surveillance by the WatchWorld network and its Robocop-style Safe-Guards, even the slightest transgression brings you into very unwelcome attention from the authorities. Life is particularly difficult for Nimmo. His parents are in prison and he must live below the radar of WatchWorld, amid the city's underground criminals. As you can imagine, Nimmo has skills. And this is why gang boss Move-Easy calls him in when a case containing valuable black market credit cards goes missing. Nimmo, together with sibling grifters Manikin and FX, and teen geek Scope, are to find the case or face Move-Easy's chief goons.

The thing is, Nimmo knows exactly where the case is. And it soon becomes apparent that black market credit cards are merely the bait. The prize is something altogether more sinister. But who can Nimmo trust? He's lived solo and only on his wits for so long, trust isn't something he gives away lightly. But with everyone's life in danger, does he really have a choice?

The publicity for Rat Runners is billing it as Blade Runner meets 1984 and that's as good a description as any. McGann's future London is really not a nice place. It's an ultra-controlled surveillance society but it has a thriving - and ruthless - criminal underbelly. Its soldiers are mostly children - the rat runners of the title - because people aren't tracked by the system until they reach sixteen. This gives our four central characters a great deal of room to show of their mad skillz and resourcefulness. And they take full advantage of it in a page-turning plot full of deception, betrayal, and double betrayal. I thoroughly enjoyed this high octane read.

I also like the kids themselves. They're spiky and untrusting but full of intelligence and are combatively vivacious. You're rooting for them all with everything you've got. Even the villains are great fun. If unnerving. Very unnerving.

If you like a high-octane, dystopian thriller with plenty of kick ass action, Rat Runners will be right up your alley.

You might also enjoy The Starlight Conspiracy by Steve Voake which adds a road trip into the sci-fi/dystopian mix. You could also look at Colony by J A Henderson, which throws in some time travel, no less.

Buy Rat Runners by Oisin McGann at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rat Runners by Oisin McGann at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Rat Runners by Oisin McGann at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rat Runners by Oisin McGann at Amazon.com.


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