Cover image for The rule of claw
The rule of claw
Brindley, John, 1954-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, 2009.

Physical Description:
404 pages ; 22 cm
Ash and her friends live in a future where they are the only human teenagers left, but when Ash is kidnapped and becomes a pawn in a power struggle among the formidable Raptors who captured her, she begins to reconsider her own humanity.
Reading Level:
HL 740 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.5 13.0 127882.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.5 22 Quiz: 46903.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Ash and her friends are the only human teenagers left on earth. They've grown up alone, without adults, in the safety of their camp. Beyond the fence, there's only death and danger. When Ash is kidnapped by the savage, hideously clawed Raptors, she becomes a pawn in their battle for supremacy. Will she survive? and what will she do when she learns the frightening truth of their origins? a thrilling adventure of accelerated evolution, genetic engineering, and global warming - with the fate of the whole human race at stake.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ash barely remembers a time before the ASP camp, where she and other kids have taken refuge on the beach after tumultuous events none of them remember. The adults disappeared long ago into the jungle, never to return. All that's left of them is the wire fences marked Admittance Strictly Prohibited and a set of commandments to follow. The fences protect the kids from dangerous mutant plants and insects on the other side, but when Ash is kidnapped by Raptors, a race of clawed bird-people, she discovers the truth behind their island camp and what's become of humanity. Brindley stays squarely in Ash's clever but limited perspective, where objects and concepts we are familiar with become alien, and lets us puzzle out what she is seeing. The pacing is fast and frenetic, with plenty of action, making this big book feel shorter than it is. The future Brindley delivers, with mutant races, converted cities, and terrible misunderstandings, mixes dire warnings about genetic engineering and global warming with a hopeful message of tolerance and only a little didacticism.--Hutley, Krista Copyright 2009 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Attempting to mix genetic modification and global warming with intense action sequences, Brindley (Amy Peppercorn: Beyond the Stars) bites off more than he can chew, sandwiching his novel around a heavy proscience, antireligion message. Ash has grown up among the ASPs (named for the "Admittance Strictly Prohibited" sign posted outside their camp), teens abandoned as small children who formed a primitive society based on surfing and vegetarianism. But when she is kidnapped and delivered into the wild, she must deal with warlike Raptors (mutants possessed of sharp claws) and peace-loving Rodents (also mutated from humans). The nearly nonstop action doesn't hide awkward writing: "You are mine to destroy and devour"-that's Ash somehow understanding a look from a Raptor who doesn't share her facial features. A subplot emerging in the final sections that features antievolution religious zealots further destabilizes the story. Ages 12-18. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-In this dark, futuristic novel, 15-year-old Ash lives with more than two dozen teens in a fortified beach compound, where they had been left by their parents years earlier. Ash, a champion surfer and the de facto camp leader, is abducted by predatory Raptors, a mutant species that lives in the remains of a human city. While struggling to escape, she encounters friendly, peace-loving rodents, a cross between humans and rats. Their leader informs Ash that her father, Professor Helix, was inadvertently responsible for the genetic mutations that largely destroyed the human race. Following a war between the human/rat allies and the Raptors, the novel concludes with the fragile promise of peace and cooperation among all three species. Brindley's fast-paced novel is initially difficult to follow as it's unclear what has happened to human adults and why some of Ash's friends are showing signs of mutation. The teens' slowly devolving society is reminiscent of William Golding's classic Lord of the Flies with Ash unable to stop her friends from violating their own long-standing rules. In The Rule of Claw, the teens are rescued not by adults, but by the redemption offered by the rats and their own dawning recognition that they can choose to live in cooperation. Science fiction fans will enjoy the constant action, richly drawn characters, and fully realized setting.-Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.