The best of the trilogy!,
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This review is from: Domain (Kindle Edition)
As I stated in my previous review of 'Lair', after two fairly similar (but enjoyable) books in the 'Rats' series, it was difficult to see where he could go with the idea next and not repeat the same formula, but he managed it, and managed it with style!
It's no spoiler to let slip here that the book is set in a post-nuclear London (the opening of the novel begins in spectacular fashion with the attack itself), and is focused around a group of survivors in the aftermath. The rats themselves hardly appear at all until a fair way into the book, and I've often wondered if the novel originally started as a story sans rats, and he later realised here was an opportunity not to be missed, but maybe that's pie in the sky...
I've previously said that 'The Rats' and 'Lair' seemed tame by modern standards - 'Domain' is a definite break from this pattern, and is full of some fairly extreme violence, and throughout the book, the mood is suitably bleak. If there were an award for 'most peril faced by protagonists in a single book', this would be a serious contender. No sooner do the protagonists get themselves out of one scrape then they are facing another - out of the frying pan, into a succession of ever-bigger frying pans, as it turns out. It's a fairly unrelenting series of set pieces, which some people will hate, but which action-lovers will adore.
The post-nuclear world is described beautifully (not sure that's the right adjective to use, but what the hey), and is about as bleak as you could imagine.
In short - it's by far the best of the Rats trilogy, and well worth a read. I think it would be readable even without reading the first two volumes, as Herbert provides enough info on the previous encounters with the rats to give a decent grounding (and let's be honest - they're giant, ferocious man-eating rats - just how much more do you need to know?).