Review: Rat Runners

Monday, 15 July 2013
Author: Oisin McGann
Edition: Corgi Paperback
Released: 7th March 2013
Series: n/a
Pages: 387 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy this book!

Four young criminals. One simple task: steal a mysterious box from the daughter of a dead scientist. They have to follow her, bug her phone, hack her computer, search her home, all without her knowing.

But WatchWorld run this city now. On every street are cameras, X-ray scanners, microphones. Terrifying Safe-Guards can see through walls, hear your heartbeat, analyze the smell of your sweat. Their motto? If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear.

But Nimmo, Scope, Manikin and FX, who work in the blind-spots of the city's shady underworld, are soon caught in a maze of deception, treachery and murder... will they make it out of the rat-runs alive?

Whenever I read about books with a seemingly promising action-filled plot, the child in me who grew up loving the Alex Rider novels lets out a little squeal. However, though I'm not denying there was a good majority of action in this book, I just didn't really feel much of anything toward it whilst reading. Not toward the characters or, well, anything at all. Nevertheless, I didn't hate this book. It was just a rather so-so read.

I think I'll just continue with the things I didn't really enjoy about the book first. Apart from not really connecting to the characters or seeing the sense in some of the decisions they made, probably the most major flaw that got to me was that I felt like the plot line had no direction. At times I was just like: There's no need for all of this! *pulls frustrated face* I also found it a little hard to follow a few of the action scenes every now and then.

Nevertheless, there were some slightly redeeming qualities. For instance, the dystopian setting. Albeit a little confusing at times, the idea of WatchWorld was intriguing and different. And slightly terrifying - especially since you can totally picture something like that happening in the future! Also, expanding on my point about the characters, though I felt indifferent toward them, it's not like I disliked them in any way. The scene where Scope was tidying FX's 'Hide' had me laughing silly. Maybe if the characters relationships had been more developed then I might have liked them all more. Saying that, they were still all courageous, smart characters.

To conclude, Rat Runners was a mediocre read for me. It wasn't tedious... but it wasn't exactly loveable either. The characters felt a little bland and the plot line frustrated me with the lack of direction it had. However, the world-building was admirable and unusual and a few of the main characters did have some redeeming qualities. I feel this book could be enjoyed more by tween readers who enjoy action novels, but I'd still say give it a go if it sounds like something you'd enjoy. I'll leave you now with my favourite quote:

"'Someone's always watching,' Nimmo replied, as he dropped a rope down to them. 'But there's plenty they don't see.'"
Huge thanks go out to Random House for my review copy! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo


  1. It's a shame this book disappointed you, Rachel! I'm glad you enjoyed some parts but it is frustrating when books are a bit 'meh' rather than squealing up and down.

    The world building sounds good and I love dystopian books! I can understand why you didn't connect with the characters though. Thanks for the honest review! :)

  2. First of all, thanks for the inside scoop last night! ;) And really disappointed about this. The minute I looked at this novel, I thought it would be amazing, out of this world. Just proves that looks can be deceiving ;) Anyway, at least it wasn't the worst book you've read. Great review!! :D

  3. Aw I'm sorry this disappointed you! I'm not planning on buying this one anymore..! I hate it when the characters feel a little bland and it's one of my absolute pet-hates about books... even if the plot line is brilliant (which in this case, it didn't seem to be!) I can never enjoy a book that has bad characters!

  4. The inner-child in me is always like that with books like 'The Selection'. I'm sorry you didn't like this read, but can understand it! Although, this is a great review. As a fellow lover of Dystopian settings, Watchworld sounds extremely interesting.


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