by John Brindley

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Science fiction fans will enjoy the constant action, richly drawn characters, and fully realized setting."  —School Library Journal on The Rule of Claw

"Both a good read and a fine book for classroom use that is sure to excite heated discussion and debate."—Booklist

School Library Journal
Gr 8�10—When his classmates stage a protest during a school field trip to a genetic-engineering facility, British teenager Blake Newton is presented with a unique opportunity: a vial of serum that could jumpstart his faltering career as a world-class sprinter is left momentarily unattended. Thinking of how his theft of the serum would have disappointed his deceased mother, he resists the temptation, but fears that he will get in trouble when officials return. To escape, he leaps into an elevator that whisks him to an underworld of genetically modified creatures, including a beautiful mermaid named Chimera. Adventures ensue as Blake attempts to help the good creatures escape the predations of their masters from the organization they call Dod (the Department of Defence), while fending off attacks from the evil creatures. Blake tries to convince people in the Outerworld of the existence of the creatures but is met with disbelief. In a climactic (and very extended) chase scene, he makes a heroic, doomed effort to lead them to freedom. Throughout the novel, complications seem to pile on top of one another, without advancing the plot or an understanding of the characters, who are drawn with too little complexity or nuance to give readers much reason to care about them. All this would matter less if Brindley had addressed the social implications and moral ambiguities of genetic engineering in any meaningful way, but the scattered insights he offers do little to encourage teens to think about the subject in any original or creative way. As it stands, the book succeeds neither as an adventure story nor as a novel of ideas.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT

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Product Details

Orion Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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