Book Review: The Roar

The Roar
By: Emma Clayton
Published By: Chicken House
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Page Count: 496
Source: Library
Audience/Genre: YA/Dystopian

This fantastic middle grades dystopian novel was recommend to me by my "I don't like to read" son. This is the same kid who would rather play any number of video games than read a book, so when he told me he suggested I might like it myself, and asked me to buy him the sequel, I knew I had to give The Roar a try. And I'm happy to say I liked it just as much as he did. 

Twelve year olds Ellie and Mika live in a world void of animals and surrounded by walls. Years ago, during the animal plague, a wall was built around London to ensure the safety of its citizens after the government slaughtered every animal to control the spread of disease. The wealthy have built a second London on top of the original, where the shadow people live among the foundation columns of the Golden Towers.

At the opening of the book, Ellie who was kidnapped and has been presumed dead by everyone but her twin brother, Mika, is returning to her family with a secret so huge it will shake her family along with the rest of the world.  Meanwhile, Mika and his classmates are introduced to a podfighter game and the new, healthy lifestyle that the government officials want them to adhere to.

With a hefty dose of environmental and class issues, this dystopian story reminds me of a cross between Ender's Game, Divergent, and Ready Player One. With a strong story, engaging characters, and a swift writing style -- this is perfect for middle grades and early high school readers (especially boys) that I throughly enjoyed.  

Summary via Goodreads

Mika and Ellie live in a future behind a wall: Solid concrete topped with high-voltage razor wire and guarded by a battalion of Ghengis Borgs, it was built to keep out the animals, because animals carry the plague. At least that's what Ellie, who was kidnapped as a child, has always been taught. 

But when she comes to suspect the truth behind her captivity, she's ready to risk exposure to the elements and answer the call of the wild. Listen. Can you hear it? She's strapping on her headset, jumpstarting her Pod Fighter, and--with her capuchin monkey at her back--she's breaking out!


  1. I love these suggestions. I can always use them for my reluctant readers. I have a son just like yours (although he's 25 now) but it was a struggle and I always got so excited if he found a book he liked!


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