by Terence Blacker
Efren is a rat living in the rat kingdom in the sewers. When the king dies and new leaders are selected, they decide that humans are a bigger threat than they had previously believed and they decide to wage war. Meanwhile, a human doctor who has been studying the rats decides that they are one of the biggest threats to humans, and he rallies the people of the city to attack the rats. Then Efren and some human children meet, and both types of animals have to decide which side deserves their victory.
Efren was a likable character. He noticed that he had differences, but he accepted them and still tried to serve his kingdom as best he could. The children, Dogboy and Caz, both have interesting back stories and conflicts that they have to deal with. Out of all the characters, only Efren, Dogboy, Caz, and two others really try to understand anything about the other species. This helps flesh them out, but the whole war between rats and humans seemed blown a little out of proportion. If you accepted it as it was though, it was a pretty good story.
The pacing was often off for me. There were a lot of parts that should have taken a while but passed by fairly quickly and parts that should have gone faster that took a long time. The individual scenes were alright; it was the overall passage of time that wasn’t quite right.
This is a 3.2. I liked the rats and their kingdom and the two children. I didn’t like most of the other characters and parts of it dragged, but I did like the story as a whole. It is like store-bought chicken pot pie. It’s not store-bought because it feels generic but because it didn’t have the warm, savory, homey feel about it. There are some things in the pie that you like and some that you don’t, but mixed up all together, it’s still pretty good.