Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles #1) by Hilary Wagner
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*Published October 1, 2010*
For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I’ve had this particular book on my TBR list. And I finally read it! I do believe it was worth it, but I’m not completely sure that it’ll be one that I’ll read again, but it was a good book.
Deep beneath Trillium City, a modern metropolis, lies the Catacombs, a kingdom of rats of extraordinary intelligence and ability. The once peaceful and democratic colony has become a harsh dictatorship ruled by the High Minister Kildeer and his henchman, Billycan, who runs the Kill Army and collects weekly Stipend from the terrified subjects. The two of them rule with iron fists. With most of the adult rats wiped out in Killdeer’s Bloody Coup and the subsequent great flood, orphaned young male rats are forced into the army and the females into servitude or worse. But change is coming. . . .
Two orphan brothers, Vincent and Victor Nightshade, sons of a hero killed in the Bloody Coup, manage to escape from the Kill Army and meet up with Juniper Belancourt, leader of a rebel group seeking to overthrow their oppressors and restore peace and democracy in a new city. The brothers are quickly caught up in Juniper’s cause: “We survive by cover of night. We live in the shadows, waiting for our redemption! Our name must symbolize our burning spirit. . . . Tonight and forever, we are Nightshade City!”
Juniper’s plans are complicated by many factors. His lovely young niece Clover has been picked by Killdeer to be his next Chosen One, so the rebels and their allies the Earthworms must work fast to save her. Can the rebels locate their enemies’ War Room? Can Juniper’s former love, now holding a position in Killdeer’s Ministry, be trusted? Will the rebels be able to execute their plans without the aid of a young Topsider (human)? And how will Vincent and Victor fare in battle will they honor their father’s legacy of courage?
This book, to me, feels like the Redwall series and the Secret of NIMH movie got together and had a baby. I mean, that sounds simply marvelous, especially if you love stories of animals that are essentially human. In this book, it is darker than most Redwall books so it’s more Secret of NIMH, along with the intelligent animals that reside in a human world.
In this book, we are dropped right in the middle of a world that has been taken over by a tyrant. A world that has decayed and those who are oppressed are just trying to survive. In another city, a new city full of those who were overthrown in the original coup, there is planning to save all those under the tyrant’s rule. To provide a new life, a life that was supposed to be before their world was overthrown, the rats must work to do all they can to save their city.
I can’t really talk a whole lot about this book without giving a whole lot more away, but I do recommend that you read it. It’s a great adventure book that carries hints of the Secret of NIMH. What sorts of books carry themes from other media that you’ve noticed? Do you like it when a book does that? Comment below and let me know!