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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
The Rat Collector by Chris Yee is book one in the Age of End series. It opens with one man standing barefoot on an ice-encrusted cliff, looking out over a snow covered plain, waiting for the approach of his childhood friend Saul. His name is Vince and he plans to put an end to his friend’s life, but when Saul finally makes an appearance, his attempt is aborted when he falls from the cliff. Fortunately, he is rescued by a local villager and returned to a small hamlet for treatment. But almost as soon as he arrives, events in the village take a sinister turn when folk start to disappear. Vince believes that Saul is behind the disappearances and, in order to convince the residents to help to hunt him down, he relates to them a series of incredible events which started when he and Saul were boys.
Vince and Saul had grown up in a small, poverty-stricken provincial town, and one day while exploring the local wood, they met a stranger who presented them with an astonishing proposition. For no charge whatsoever he would administer a small injection which would give them both eternal life; naturally shy and suspicious, they try to run away, but Saul is ensnared by the stranger, and this sets off the chain of events which, 200 years later, brings Vince to the nearby cliff top in order to try to ambush his childhood friend. Convinced by Vince’s story and determined to rescue one of the kidnapped villagers, they agree to help and set off on an even more astonishing journey.
The Rat Collector presents several intriguing scenarios and there are plenty of twists and turns in its multi-layered plot. Chris Yee has developed some interesting characters and settings in a dystopian world where nothing is quite what it seems. An engaging first installment in what promises to be an entertaining science fiction series.