In a city ravaged by crime and corruption, 13-year-old orphan Caw’s only friends are the murder of crows he has lived with since his parents flung him from their house aged only five…
Caw lives in a treehouse in an abandoned city park, surviving on scraps of food and only communicating with his three crows. But a jailbreak at the prison forces him into contact with other humans – particularly a girl called Lydia, who is attacked by the escaped prisoners and is saved by Caw.
Caw realises that these escaped prisoners have more in common with him than he’d like… they too are FERALS – humans able to communicate with and control an animal species. And they want to bring their evil Feral master, The Spinning Man, back from the Land of the Dead.
Only by joining forces with other good Ferals hiding throughout the city can Caw stand a chance of defeating them.
I wasn’t sure what to think about this one when I requested a review copy off Netgalley, but I thought it would be a good fit for a Once Upon a Time IX read if nothing else… I’m happy to report, I was pleasantly surprised.
The book starts with Caw being roused from his sleep and thrown from his bedroom window, as you would expect this is a strong memory for Caw eight years later, although the finer details of this event are also somewhat confused and hazy.
I liked the world that Jacob Grey created for Caw to live in, the city of Blackstone felt like home for Caw with just enough threat lurking to keep things interesting, especially as the threat of The Spinning Man and his associates becomes apparent. Caw will also learn the truth of that night when he as only five years old.
Both Caw and Lydia (his new and only friend – at least human friend anyway) were really great characters, there’s a lot of determination and decency in Caw. He has of course essentially looked after himself for as long as he can remember, and Lydia takes an instant liking to the boy who saves both her and her dad one night. It’s a sweet friendship, and I think both boy and girl readers in the target age group will enjoy it equally.
I mentioned about Lydia, being Caw’s ‘human’ friend, well that’s because Caw has had other friends to help him over the years, only they have been distinctly crow like in nature, as Caw has the ability to talk to them! And the three that have been with him the longest are delightfully grumpy and opinionated, and supply some regular comic relief. 🙂
As we, and Caw discover more about the Ferals, their abilities, and history the excitement builds into a satisfy story, with Caw determined to defeat The Spinning Man once and for all and save his new friend in the process.
My copy of Ferals: The Crow Talker by Jacob Grey was provided by the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes.