01/02/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Holiday House. 212 page small hardback. Price: $16.95 (US). ISBN: 978-0-8234-2093-3.
check out websites: www.holidayhouse.com, www.michaeljdaley.comand www.spacestationrat.com
I didn’t realise until I was half-way through ‘Rat Trap’ by Michael J. Daley that this was actually a sequel, although saying that, this book works reasonably well as a standalone with all the necessary information supplied to understand what is going on. The book’s target audience is the youth market but doesn’t talk down to them so is equally of interest to us as adults.
The Rat of the title (and uses that as her name) is the last remaining lavender-haired specimen of genetically enhanced highly intelligent Rodengenics project on a space station. It escaped and has been helped by young Jeff who tries to keep it secret of still being alive, even if his father suspects different. Quite what happened in the previous book to give that understanding isn’t exactly explained but considering that the Nanny robot that was tracking Rat down had to be dismantled, one can draw your own conclusions.
Things aren’t helped when Dr. Vivexian returns to the station, not believing Rat is dead and with robotic trackers to hunt her down. Things aren’t helped when Nanny is turned on and reassembles itself to join in with its safety protocols turned off and is a danger to all.
What makes this story work so well is that the Rat still has certain rodent tendencies like chewing wire and such. It can’t speak but can do sign language and supplied with a tools vest. The humans tend to be more stereotypical and other than Vivexian, who doesn’t believe anyone, tend to be a lot more trusting. Presumably, Rat must have had a good reputation prior to the escape. You could easily see these books turned into a film series.
If you don’t buy it for yourself, then get it for your sprogs as I’m sure they’ll enjoy it.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA