Ratgirl: Song of the Viper

Ratgirl: Song of the Viper

by Gayle C. Krause

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Sixteen-year-old streetwise orphan, Jax Stone is an expert at surviving in a dangerous city, where rats rival the homeless for food and shelter, but she’s an amateur at fighting the immoral mayor when he kidnaps her little brother. Desperation demands she quickly master the role of courageous opponent. In an effort to outwit the diabolical mayor, she uses her hypnotic singing voice to lead rats to their death, and all the children to safety, in a dying city cursed by the deadly sun.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148293934
Publisher: Trowbridge Books
Publication date: 01/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 210
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

GAYLE C KRAUSE is the author of ROCK STAR SANTA, a seasonal rhyming picture book for Pre-K- 2nd grade and a YA historical romance short story set in ancient Persia titled THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER.

Writing for teens was a perfect segue from her years as an educator preparing high school and college students to become teachers. Her years with teens have given her excellent insight into their thoughts and desires.

She lives in a cliff house with her husband in the Pocono Mountains, where everyday is like a writing retreat. You can visit Gayle at www.gayleckrause.com

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Ratgirl: Song of the Viper 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ratgirl: Song of the Viper by Gayle C. Krause is a gripping re-imagining of the Pied Piper, set against a backdrop of global warming and corporate greed. Jax Stone and her brother survive in a world where no one can be trusted and spending more than sixty seconds in the sunlight will kill you. The rich have fled to the New Continent. The poor have fled to the sewers. Within the old subway tunnels, the poor co-exist with the rats as best as humans can co-exist with an abundant and hungry rat population, which is to say they can't. The young, the old, and the sick fall victim to daily rat attacks. Each night, when the sun sets, the rats, along with the poor, along with the criminals ascend to the surface to scrounge abandoned buildings for anything worth trading for food and other basic necessities. Jax and her brother dream of a better life. A life with food. A life where a person could feel the sunlight against her cheeks without fear of being scorched in less than sixty seconds. A life much different than the one they are living. The Mayor considers the infestation of the rats and the poor unacceptable. When the opportunity to rid the city of the rat population presents itself, Jax accepts. She doesn't realize that the Mayor plans to rid the city of her friends, her family, and herself, along with the rats.
JenningsWriter1Reviews More than 1 year ago
Sixteen year-old Jax Stone, a gritty, hard-edged girl, scavenges at night in Metro city and sleeps in the sewer tunnels during the day. Global warming bakes the environment and the rich have fled to a still habitable continent. The remaining population struggles to survive in a city overrun with rats, its river so toxic a single drop will kill, and an evil politician whose greed and lust threaten to destroy the streetwise Jax. The teen and her small group of loyal friends band together to seek a way out. Once Jax discovers that rats tumble from their hiding places to follow her when she sings, she hits upon a plan that may get her and her friends safe passage to the New Continent. Using aspects of the Pied Piper legend, Author Gayle Krause, creates a futuristic story for savvy teens and adults who seek action-packed, dystopian fiction with threads of romance, survival, and surprising plot twists and revelations. The bond between Jax and her young brother Andy best showcases this author’s talent for creating complex characters and meaningful relationships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like fairy tales and dystopian stories like Hunger Games or Divergent, then RATGIRL: Song of the Viper is something you don’t want it miss. It’s a perfect marriage of a fairy tale retelling (The Pied Piper) and a dystopian future (earth ravished by global warming). Krause has woven a fantastic story with original characters into the old fairy tale and the result is a fresh take on a genre that seems to be overdone these days. Not so, with Krause’s story. The well-developed characters travel through a story is filled with twists and turns and just when you think you know what’s going to happen, you find out your wrong. Jax, A 16-year old survivor in a world she calls  “hell on earth,” is a strong heroine and a gutsy protagonist willing to sacrifice herself on every level to save her brother and friends. I highly recommend this book for both teens and adults, especially if you have a fondness for fairy tales, as I do.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
Readers need to be aware that this is not a new publication. As far as I can determine, it was first released in early 2013 under the publisher label of Noble Romance Publishing which later went out of business under a black cloud. This may be a debut from Trowbridge Books but only in the sense that this book has not had the Trowbridge label on it until now. At the current time, Ratgirl is the only book published by Trowbridge and information about this “independent publishing house” is very limited. It may or may not be a self-publishing venue. I bring all this up only because it would be easy for someone to purchase this not realizing they’d already read it in its earlier edition. Having said that, I do think Ratgirl is well worth a reader’s attention. Ms. Krause has created a clever adaptation of the old Pied Piper fairy tale set in a future world in which global warming has turned life upside down. Metro City lives under the thumb of the tyrannical Mayor Culpepper and most of the people lead a meager existence in the sewers along with an enormous population of rats. In this world where the daytime sun kills with its intensity, the promised land is the New Continent, Antarctica. Jax is a girl who has learned how to survive in the tunnels and sewers by day and on the streets as a picker by night and is able to protect her young brother, Andy, from the worst of their environment. That protection means nothing when the Mayor suddenly sends his guards to kidnap all the children and Jax sets out to rescue them with the help of a few friends. What she learns about Culpepper’s plans for the city, and the captured children, is frightening but a shocking development will change everything. One of this author’s strengths is in character development, not only in Jax and Andy but also in their friends, particularly Astoria, Cheinstein and Rafe. Later, we get to know Colt but is he a really a friend or in the employ of the Mayor? And where does a guard named Alder fit in? Another aspect of the story that appealed to me is the requisite love triangle. I could enjoy this one because of who the three people are and the credibility of the set-up. For once, the romance elements are believable and sustainable both in the triangle and in the other relationship. That second attachment, refreshingly, is allowed to grow naturally and does not become the be-all and end-all of the story, again making it credible. My one real complaint about this book is the almost complete lack of worldbuilding and the confusing timeline. There are many instances of still-working items such as CDs and players and, other than the Air Caravan, very little to indicate a distant future and its likely trappings. Printed books have become valuable because they became obsolete in 2040 but paperbacks can still be found for collecting and trading, much beyond the expected shelf life of a paperback. The museum’s exhibits end with the 1957-2011 space race with no explanation. Even the method of cooling air involves today’s ductwork and revolving fans yet we find out in the very end that the time is indeed far in the future. There is also no explanation of how Antarctica became such a haven or how it came to pass that Culpepper would be able to take control of the city without any apparent opposition only three years earlier. I believe Ms. Krause intends to publish a sequel and I hope many of my questions will be answered then. In the meantime, readers can relish this modern rendering of a favorite fairy tale.
ClaireTaylor More than 1 year ago
A dystopian re-telling of the pied piper, this book is definitely one that I will remember. I had only glanced at the blurb when looking at this book so had no idea what to expect, but the cover completely drew me in. The world depicted is destitute and deprived, with the poor barely surviving whilst the rich live a gluttonous life of luxury. There are rats everywhere, and slowly Jax realises that they stop and listen whenever she is singing. When the children are kidnapped and the mayor requests an exterminator to rid him of the rat problem, everyone comes together in an attepmt to escape to be better life. I have no idea if the author is carrying on the story, or if this is a stand-alone novel but I would love to see more. All the characters have their place, and I became attached to them as the story unfolded. The sense of loyalty and family comes across strongly, and it really felt like they would do anything for each other in order to survive. I was completely captivated by this story, and stayed up way past my bedtime just to read another chapter or two. I would highly recommend this as one to read. I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first forage into the dystopian world of storytelling was with ‘The Hunger Games’. Being so in love with that story, I’d been reluctant to revisit the dystopian genre for fear that I would be disappointed, but from the minute I started reading ‘Ratgirl’, I knew that I would love the story and would feel the flame return for dystopian storytelling. ‘Ratgirl’ was a brilliant depiction of future society. The author had cleverly combined a number of real-life issues and examined how these issues would have grown in the future. She created a brilliant setting of underground city dwellers who could only exit at night due to the dangerous heat and radiation given off by the Sun. The topic of rats was also a brilliant concoction as it shows a more fearful view of the future where humans are no longer top of the food chain and all powerful, but instead on the same level as rats with whom they have to compete with for food and survival. My love for this book was further intensified by the arrival of some amazing characters whom I fell in love with and rooted for from the get go. Jax was a no-nonsense yet likeable role model, whose bravery and dedication to her younger brother was admirable and had me supporting her every step of her journey. Colt was also a lovely dishy hero who I drooled over from the start. His mission to protect the less fortunate had him adopting the future vision of Robin Hood, and makes a brilliant parallel to the past and present of today, and how today’s legends can still be known in the future. My favourite character however was Alder. I absolutely adored his loveable nature and admired everything he did for those he loved. Although I loved Rafe, a sewer-dweller and bad boy with a heart of gold, and loved the sincerity of his love for Astoria and the protective nature he had for his friends, I really connected to Alder and Astoria’s story of forbidden love. At times I was laughing when Rage snubbed Alder only to receive no response because all of Alder’s attention and worry was fixed firmly on Astoria. The storyline regarding the corrupt leader was brilliantly written, and to discover that his kryptonite of his flesh-and-blood children was so difficult for him to find for himself due to his own malicious actions of making women infertile and therefore unable to bear his child. The action scenes were suspenseful and heart-pounding. I loved the Jax’s originality when it came to her plots and plans, but will these be enough to thwart or fool the evil dictator who holds both Jax’s life and all those she holds dear in his power. You’ll have to read to find out!