Ancient Appetites by Oisin McGann

Ancient Appetites

Ancient Appetites

An interesting idea, creatures who are part machine, part wild animal.

Nate Wildenstern does not quite belong in his family. He does not want to learn the family business and is not too enarmoured of the family tradition of inheriting through assassination, murder and mayhem. The Wildensterns hold an elevated position in Irish society, being the richest, most tyrannical and self absorbed of the ruling class. They spare little or no thought for the poor, often destroying the lives and livelihoods of their underlings. Nate is too soft hearted by his father’s standards, and an inconvenient stumbling block to his family when his older brother dies suddenly, leaving Nate as the heir to the family empire.

Nate also has a talent for and interest in engimals, a strange wild mix of animal and machine which all to often get caught up in the games and machinations of humans.

I enjoyed this book, but can’t say that I loved it. I found Nate’s ‘woe is me’ attitude wearing after a while. I know he is yet young, but he could have pulled himself together and actually paid attention to what was going on around him. For someone who initially seems quite intelligent, he seems patently blind to more than half of what is happening. Easy to say from the comfort of my armchair of course! The engimals are brilliant but could have been more central to the story, rather than just pets or tools. Perhaps their story will be further explored in the sequel.

I found it interesting that several stores seemed quite confused about which section to shelf the book in – Young Adult, or Children’s. I can understand the confusion, but would probably go more with Children’s as the political and social issues involved in the story are only briefly dealt with and not explored.

On the whole, enjoyable.