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The Inferior by Peader Ó Guilín


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#1 Werthead

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 03:36 PM

A tribe of humans lives in a vast, crumbling city in the midst of a forested land. No-one knows who built the city or why. The Tribe survives by hunting hostile species for food, or trading flesh with more neutrally-aligned races. When a hunter becomes too wounded or too elderly to endure, they are expected to Volunteer for the flesh-trade. It is a harsh world of kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, where the strong survive and the weak perish.

Stopmouth is a hunter low in confidence due to his constant stutter, overshadowed by his more heroic, intelligent brother. But the Tribe needs them both to survive, when their rival species form an unprecedented alliance and a strange force falls from the skies which will drastically change Stopmouth's life forever...

The Inferior, Book One of The Bone World Trilogy, is a refreshingly different type of speculative fiction, channelling many of tropes of fantasy but gradually subverting them with SF ideas as the storyline continues to develop. The world of the Tribe is an intriguing one, a savage landscape where different races battle for survival and for flesh and the good of the many comes before the good of the individual. It is also a world where nothing is as it first appears, and later chapters introduce new races, new locations, new ideas and characters which add to the tapestry of the storyline.

The Inferior is being marketed as a Young Adult series, but it's a fairly harsh book, not skimping on the details of cannibalism or the visceral nature of the hunt and combat. I imagine the author had a great time inventing different monsters and species, with the vile Longtongues and Diggers being particularly unpleasent. The characters are likewise an interesting bunch, from our main protagonist Stopmouth through his two-faced brother Wallbreaker, the courageous Rockface and the enigmatic Indrani. However, outside of this main group it could be argued that some of the other characters are only lightly sketched, and the rather late introduction of a villain and foil for Stopmouth doesn't quite work as well as it should. The other key criticisms are that nowhere on the spine, the cover or indeed inside the book is it revealed that this is a trilogy, so some may find the abrupt ending a bit startling. Finally, a major plot revelation is given away by the book's cover blurb, so be very careful about reading it. Note that the last two issues are faults of the publisher, not the author.

The Inferior (****) is an enjoyable debut novel from a clearly talented author. An intriguingly harsh Darwinian story of life struggling to survive in the face of the environment, this book is different enough from a lot of recent SF&F to make a vivid impression on the reader and leave them wanting more.

Publisher details and links to other reviews of the book can be found on the blog.

#2 Peadar

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 03:41 PM

Wow, thank you, Wert! :bow:

#3 Xray the Enforcer

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 03:46 PM

Wow, thank you, Wert! :bow:


Peadar -- I see you have a North American publisher. Any guess on when I can get my hands on your book?

#4 Peadar

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:02 PM

Peadar -- I see you have a North American publisher. Any guess on when I can get my hands on your book?


No need to guess, Ser Enforcer. It's actually just another branch of Random House. They told me it won't be coming out until May 2008, So sorry about that. Nobody has really been able to explain to me why, but this same delay happens with all of their books.

They were convincing about why there's a 2 month delay in getting them to Australia: they print them in the UK and send them by ship.

#5 Werthead

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:43 PM

It strikes me I frequent too many forums. Just put summaries and links of the review up on SFX, Malazanempire, Dragonmount, Wotmania, SFFWorld and Chronicles Network.

#6 Larry.

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:45 PM

I think you're trying to challenge Pat for Pimp of the Year over at wotmania ;)

As for the book itself, I'll ask for a review copy from Random House a bit closer to the release date, as I am indeed curious based on a few hints dropped here and there.

#7 Peadar

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:40 AM

I think you're trying to challenge Pat for Pimp of the Year over at wotmania ;)

As for the book itself, I'll ask for a review copy from Random House a bit closer to the release date, as I am indeed curious based on a few hints dropped here and there.


Thanks, Dylanfanatic. If you ask them for a copy, do remember that as far as they are concerned, this is a Young Adult book. I know in the UK that that means different publicity people etc. So, if you're having any difficulties getting hold of the right person, just drop me a message here.

#8 swedeheadchris

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:49 AM

I've just posted my interview with Peadar :) Really liked your review, Wert. And glad The Inferior is getting lots of good publicity ;)

#9 Arwyl

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 11:14 AM

Peadar, your book's already here in the Philippines! I was looking for Acacia in this bookstore called Fully Booked and found you (and JV Jones) instead. Will start reading after I finish RSURS. :D

Edited by Arwyl, 08 September 2007 - 11:20 AM.


#10 Larry.

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 11:54 AM

Thanks, Dylanfanatic. If you ask them for a copy, do remember that as far as they are concerned, this is a Young Adult book. I know in the UK that that means different publicity people etc. So, if you're having any difficulties getting hold of the right person, just drop me a message here.


I always try to keep an author's intent and purported audience in mind when I review books :D And while I'm in the Random House database for receiving any review copy that I desire (and many that I hadn't thought to ask of, it seems! :o), I most certainly shall keep this in mind if there are any difficulties in obtaining a review copy.

And for the record, some of the more enjoyable reads I've had this year have been "Young Adult" fiction.

#11 Peadar

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:09 PM

Peadar, your book's already here in the Philippines! I was looking for Acacia in this bookstore called Fully Booked and found you (and JV Jones) instead. Will start reading after I finish RSURS. :D


Arwyl, I'm shocked! There isn't a single copy of my book in the whole of Dublin, except those bought through Amazon UK.

I hope you really enjoy it. If you do, and you need my to sign it via my psychic powers, just let me know. I'll concentrate very hard.

DF, I have read some amazing YA fiction. I'd recommend M.T. Anderson's Feed to anybody of any age.

#12 Auntie Aoife Eto'o Zed

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:12 PM

Some have it on order though, Peadar, I went looking during the week!

#13 Peadar

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:23 PM

Some have it on order though, Peadar, I went looking during the week!


Thanks so much for doing that, Aoife. It's weird that it's already in the sunny Philippines, but not here.

I spent hours wearing a wig and a false mustache, posing as a customer to try and find out when it was getting in. There are two book distributors that cover almost every shop in the country. They don't like hardbacks, so they tend to wait for the Trade Paperback version to come out. Needless to say, this is all new to me! As you say, though, it'll be around next week, and the launch will be *very* well supplied.

#14 Auntie Aoife Eto'o Zed

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:28 PM

Good. Neither Eason nor Hughes & Hughes in DL had it during the week. I haven't tried the ones in town yet, but given that the launch is next week (and this is Ireland) I am not holding my breath anyway.

#15 Whiskeyjak

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:30 AM

Man, if I order anymore books from the UK my wife is going to kill me .......

But that sounds like a good read. If no one hears from me again, you know what happened.

#16 Peadar

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 09:26 AM

Man, if I order anymore books from the UK my wife is going to kill me .......

But that sounds like a good read. If no one hears from me again, you know what happened.


Maybe your wife would forgive you if you bought her a copy as well? Just a thought ;-)

P.S. Thanks!

#17 WoIfgang

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 10:54 AM

I finished the book today and enjoyed it. A really entertaining book. :thumbsup:
Although I feel kinda bad for reading a book the author pimps in his sig... :P

#18 Peadar

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:07 PM

I finished the book today and enjoyed it. A really entertaining book. :thumbsup:
Although I feel kinda bad for reading a book the author pimps in his sig... :P


Thanks, LRH, much appreciated! Don't feel bad about the sig. At least it's not my granny I'm pimping. Not yet.

#19 WoIfgang

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:58 PM

Thanks, LRH, much appreciated! Don't feel bad about the sig. At least it's not my granny I'm pimping. Not yet.

There should be no need to pimp your granny, she should volunteer. :P

I really like the worldbuilding Peadar.
There are a lot of little things in the book which caused "want to know more about that" vibes.

Edited by Luzifer's right hand, 17 October 2007 - 03:58 PM.


#20 Peadar

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:54 AM

There should be no need to pimp your granny, she should volunteer. :P


You really have read the book! :)


I really like the worldbuilding Peadar.
There are a lot of little things in the book which caused "want to know more about that" vibes.


More is on the way. I had my editor over here the other day working with me on an early draft of the next book. btw, your English looks native, but if you have any specfic reading Austrian friends, I will shortly be pimping a German version too...