Book Review: Nezumi’s Children

The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A book about rats in a pet store? Why yes, that’s exactly what this book is about. The premise of Nezumi’s Children certainly intrigued me, but I admit that I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect out of this book. I have read a number of books where animals play the roles of main characters, but this was my first experience where it focused on rats. Could a book about rats in a pet store be good? The answer is yes.

I was quickly absorbed into the story of the rats and their plight to survive. Having them see humans as their Gods was really interesting and when you think about it, perhaps that is how animals in pet shops or cages in our homes see us, since without us they wouldn’t get the food, water and other things they need to survive.

There is a nice flow to this story and the writing style was really pleasant to read. I found that it took no time at all to get through the story and yet it didn’t feel rushed. Things were well planned out. While the rats were the main focus of the story the few times that humans made their appearance in the book they had a pretty big impact on the rats life but no bigger change happened than when the humans disappeared. This I felt was when the rats story truly took off and brought out the strengths and weaknesses of each individual rat as they had to tackle new challenges and experience life outside their cage for the first time.

I loved the contrast between the pet shop rats and the wild rats, it was really like night and day. Yes, they both had the same struggles of finding food, water and shelter, but how they had been raised greatly affected this. Wild rats had a slight advantage because they were already used to looking for food and water, but something can be said for the pet store rats adaptability and their nature instincts kicking in during various situations.

Another aspect I really liked was the language and world of the rats. Not only do they see humans as their Gods and the world beyond their cage as something special that not every rat gets to experience but they also have a unique language. However their language has limits which makes their initial experience outside of the cage confusing because certain terms are unknown to rats and then suddenly find themselves faces with finding out these new words and situations and trying to make sense of them, not just for themselves but for the others they encounter as well.

Overall I quite enjoyed this story. It was a quick but entertaining read. I think just about anyone will enjoy this book however I feel it has special appeal to those who like books that have a strong animal presence in them.

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