The Inferior by Peader O Guilin
First published in 2007, The Inferior is Peadar Ó Guilín's debut novel; an original and intriguing science-fiction adventure that pushes the boundaries of young-adult fiction.
Stopmouth and his family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind. It is a savage, desperate existence. And for Stopmouth, considered slow-witted hunt-fodder by his tribe, the future looks especially bleak. But then, on the day he is callously betrayed by his brother, a strange and beautiful woman falls from the sky. It is a moment that will change his destiny, and that of all humanity, forever.
At first, The Inferior takes a little getting used to as the narrative style is young-adult while the themes, notably cannibalism, rape and the death of small children, are unquestionably adult. So be warned, this book, and those that follow, are not for the overly squeamish or the easily upset.
Initially everything seems pretty straight-forward. We have the Stone-Age setting and a scenario of survival of the fittest as warring tribes practice genocide on each other. But as the story progresses the author cleverly inserts points that raise some big questions: Why is none of the vegetation edible? What are the globes patrolling the skies? Everything hints at a more advanced race/species monitoring the tribes and it is these questions that keep the reader both guessing and reading. Nothing is what it at first appears to be. And this is why the book has been likened to The Truman Show so often.
The characters, and their interaction, is another area in which Ó Guilín shows a sure hand.
There is very little not to like about Irishman Ó Guilín’s debut other than to mention that some readers (like I did myself) may struggle at first due to the theme and the narrative-style being slightly at odds, but after a while this no longer becomes an issue.
The Inferior has been likened to Tarzan, Conan and The Truman Show. I would certainly agree with The Truman Show, as many parts of the book bring back echoes of that inspired little film, but it would be William Goldman’s Lord of the Flies that I would offer as another string influence. Both books show very clearly the very fine-line between civilisation and savagery.
If you enjoy science-fiction adventures then this book is a must read, and fans of speculative fiction will also find much to enjoy here. I think The Inferior will move the boundaries of what authors can do with a young-adult novel, much as Margo Lanagan did with Tender Morsels. Young adult’s should rejoice, as I’m sure that we all remember that it is an age where you want to be treated as an adult rather than a child. This is what this book does.
And just remember, there is but one law: Eat or be eaten.
Those who have already read and enjoyed The Inferior may also enjoy KS Turner’s The Chronicles of Fate and Choice and Walter E Mark’s The Sixth World of Men. And vice versa.
Although both The Inferior, and its 2011 sequel The Deserter, do not mention it, I believe that both books form part of The Bone World Trilogy, and we should expect a conclusion to this innovative story in the non-too-distant future.
This The Inferior book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Bone World Trilogy
The Bone World Trilogy: Book 1
Stopmouth and his family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of...
The Bone World Trilogy: Book 2
To save his tribe, the cannibal Stopmouth must abandon it. Leaving the stone-age world of the Surface behind, he travels to the Roof, the mysterious hi-tech world suspended...
Have you read The Inferior?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Inferior reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Ready Player One
It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. ...
They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.The Radch are conquerors to be feared - resist and they'll turn you into a 'corpse soldier' -...
For Tom Harvey, it was just another dull, routine Friday after school. That is, until a mobile phone hurtled through the air and hit him squarely on the head, embedding fra...
George RR Martin
In the six decades since the alien plague known as the “Wild Card virus” spread a wave of mutations across the globe, humanity has begun to come to terms with i...
The Martian War
Kevin J Anderson
What if the Martian invasion was not entirely the product of H. G. Wells's vivid imagination? What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the...
Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment...
When the world was flat (And we were in love)
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if...
Victor and Eli, due to a research project gone wrong, become ExtraOrdinaries (referred to as EO's from here on in) with supernatural powers. Ten years later Victor esca...
Echo Boy by Nestlé Smarties Book Prize winner Matt Haig is a stand-alone science/speculative-fiction novel set exactly 100 years in the future. It offers a vision of...
Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she only has a single body and serves the emperor she swore to des...
Orson Scott Card
A powerful secret. A dangerous path. Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg's strange t...
Jonathan L Howard
The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pres...
Steven L Kent
Earth, 2508 A.D.. Humans populate the six arms of the Milky Way Galaxy. The oppressive Unified Authority controls Earth’s colonies with an iron first, stamping out re...
The Adventures of Nana Barb
The Universe is dangerously close to collapsing. With a shady authority known as the Time Police on their tail, will the Timeseekers be able to save us all? Their only hope...
The Maze Runner
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade -...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: