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on 14 August 2017
I purchased the Rat trilogy for my kindle as a birthday present to myself (least I get something I want) omg I adore these books, I'm a long time James Herbert anyways and read these in my late teens but as old as they are the content is still current, draws u in. Scares u enough to make you keep reading.. I'm usually a read them once kinda gal but I know these books are on my read again list
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on 6 July 2013
I never much cared for rats before I read this book but afterwards - well they are just foul. Brilliant and gory, unless you aren't afraid of rats.
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on 18 August 2017
At the beginning 2017, I made a resolution - to review every book I read. As of right now, I am living up to that vow.

Being a huge fan of James Herbert, I reviewed The Rats last month and gave it a glowing 5 stars. Although not as good (in my humble opinion) as it's predecessor, Lair still packs a lethal punch.

Set after the initial Outbreak, Herbert moves the story to the countryside: Epping Forest, to be precise. Luke Pender is a trained ratcatcher with a score to settle. When signs of the dreaded Black Rat are discovered on farmland, Luke is ordered to investigate - believing that the threat was wiped out at the end of the first book.
What he discovers puts his life - and sanity - on the line.

This reminded me a little of Peter Brenchley's fantastic Jaws - only set on land. A desperate man trying to evacuate a small community put at risk by man-eating animals, repeatedly met by rigid defiance from the money-orientated powers-at-be. Pender wants the forest cleared of people, but his intentions are overlooked until it is too late... and the rats attack.

I enjoyed this novel. Bloodthirsty. Violent. Exploative. Fun plot. Lair might lack the action of The Rats, but it was as equally entertaining.

A good read.
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on 29 May 2013
If you read the rats and enjoyed the read, this book takes you out of the city and into the countryside. although the idea is the same the setting is different which still makes it a good read, the main characters are likeable and it's easy to settle into the story. If your a James Herbert fan and would like to know what happens next, it's worth picking up the lair for more rat infested reading, it did leave me with the urge to get the third book just to finish off the saga.
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on 2 April 2013
This is a great follow on from Rats showing that the story is far from over and the huge black rats are continuing to eat people and scare the living daylights of anyone who happens to come across them.
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on 16 August 2014
Am re-reading James Herbert, after first reading most of his books quite a few years ago as a teenager. This is my favourite of the Rats trilogy.

It is, basically, what it says on the tin: giant, mutant, killer rats running amok. A fair amount of gore and the obligatory James Herbert "love" scene.

I do like the little stories Herbert always put in his books, describing various people and their lives, tragedies etc. They generally meet a sticky end but it pulls you into the story more. I also grew quite fond of the rat with the peculiar white scar running down it's head- it seemed to have it's own little sub story going. I was routing for it by the end of book.

It is a bit dated at times, but classic Herbert and a very enjoyable read.
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on 27 February 2015
The Rats was a stunning and absolutely gripping horror classic and would be very hard to follow but even though Lair isn't quite as good its still a corker in the same style as the first and nice to see a different setting this time.
Its takes a little while to get going this time but there is real anticipation and plenty of small sightings of the mutant nasties that you know it won't take long for carnage to break out.
The first real horror moment is in a graveyard and you will be pretty shocked at how graphic it is and its fingernail biting tension.
The rest of the novel is excellent but not as exiting as The Rats but when we get action it is breathtaking with some stand out moments belonging in a housing estate,the forest and a real jumpy chapter in the place they are investigating the rat problem.
The characters are very good like the first story though not as good as the previous book or the third book Domain but once again like every Herbert book we have a very strong lead character.
The finale is truly where this book gets the five star rating with a quite stunning attack by the rats on a huge house where the sheer power and size of the rats and the number of them is truly terrifying and is probably the best finale to any novel i have read.
This is as good a depiction of any end of the world type story you will ever see and even though i feel its the weakest of the three its still a classic part of a masterpiece trilogy of tension.
Once again rats will never look the same to you after this.
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VINE VOICEon 19 June 2004
Following some eclectic journeying through the realms of the supernatural (The Survivor), fantasy (Fluke) and pulp thriller (The Spear), James Herbert returns to the 'unnatural disaster' format of his first two novels with this direct sequel to The Rats.
The action shifts out of London, and focuses on a new lair of mutant rats situated in Epping Forest. In true 'Jaws' fashion, the local authorities initially refuse to believe in any rat infestation until the spiralling number of deaths means they have no choice but to call in Ratkill and the army in an effort to kill off the rats for good.
While the events of the first novel are referred to, we get a new 'hero' this time - Ratkill employee Lucas Pender, though unimaginatively his back story is identical to the lead of Herbert's last novel The Spear (bereaved lead character who lost their loved one to the threat they now face, leading to an additional personal grudge whilest freeing them up for some love interest). In fact the characterisation here is the weakest I've yet seen in a Herbert novel, with most of the supporting cast existing as little more than names. The obligatory love interest is also very unconvincing.
Lair is reasonably enjoyable, with some gruesome deaths and frantic action scenes, but aside from a little development of the rats hierarchy there's nothing here that's better - or crucially, different - from anything in the first novel. The third time around Herbert's 'unnatural disaster' style is looking a little formulaic - lead characters gradual uncovering of events punctuated by episodes of violence perpetrated on characters created solely to die - and the open ending makes this novel seem like little more than a delaying tactic for the third novel in the trilogy.
Some exciting set-pieces make this worth reading for fans of The Rats, but ultimately Lair adds nothing new to the experience - just more of the same.
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on 17 September 2000
'Lair' is the sequel to 'Rats' and a prequel to the last of the trilogy - 'Domain' and really should be read in order to get the full benefit of this outstanding trilogy. The first James Herbert novel I read was 'Creed' and I have been hooked ever since. He is a masterful writer and I have not read any of his novels that I have not enjoyed. Lair is a gripping, chilling tale and I found that once I started it I just could not put it down until I had finished it. It certainly did give me a few nightmares but definitely well worth a read, the best out of the 'Rats' trilogy by far.
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on 17 June 2003
Lair is an outstanding follow up to The Rats. James Herbert has done it again, this book is a griping, easy to read classic that you will not be able to put down. Herbert's writing style is so discriptive that you will hate the sight of rats for ever more. This is a must read book that will make you a lifelong fan of the best horror writer in the world today, and will encourage you to get every one of his amazingly readable novels.
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