Stone, David Lee. The Illmoor Chronicles: The Ratastrophe Catastrophe. Hyperion, 2004. ISBN 0786851287. $16.99. 288 pp. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham Reading Level: Young Adult Rating: Excellent Genre: Fantasy fiction; Subject: Rats--Juvenile fiction; Magic--Juvenile fiction; Book--Reviews; When the unremarkable shepherd boy Diek Wustapha is invaded by an evil spirit that gives him the power to charm living things with his flute, he finds the perfect test of his powers in the town of Illmoor which has been infested by a plague of giant rats. In true fairy tale form, Diek leads the rats to their death but is ultimately left unrewarded by the town’s ineffective leader, the Duke of Illmoor, who has no money in the coffers to pay. Seeking revenge, Diek is persuaded by the evil spirit to kidnap the town’s children. With angry parents snapping at his heals, the Duke commissions misfit mercenaries, Groan the Giant, Gordo the dwarf, Tambor the would-be sorcerer, and Jimmy an aspiring thief, to find the children and destroy Diek, which they do in their own bumbling style. The Ratastrophe Catastrophe is a wonderful nontraditional take on the traditional story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Diek and the outrageous cast of characters add spice to this intermittently dark story. The plot is fun and vigorous but is not evenly paced with scenes jumping back and forth between characters in an irregular pattern. Purists will find no real theme or moral to this story, but the humorous situations and language provide great entertainment value in the novel. Teen fans of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will enjoy this book and anticipate the next installment of the Illmoor Chronicles.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The information available on this site, including any text, computer codes, data, artwork, video, audio, images or graphics (collectively the "Material") are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Parties other than Brigham Young University ("BYU") may own copyright in the Material. We encourage the use of this Material for non-profit and educational purposes only, such as personal research, teaching and private study. For these limited purposes, Material from this web site may be displayed and printed, and all copies must include any copyright notice originally included with the Material. Additionally, a credit line must be included with each item used, citing the article or review author, title or article or review, title of the database, sponsoring agency, date of your access to the electronic file, and the electronic address.