Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: The Prince Who Fell from the Sky by John Claude Bemis

Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 261 pages
May 22, 2012, Random House

In Casseomae's world, the wolves rule the Forest, and the Forest is everywhere. The animals tell stories of the Skinless Ones, whose cities and roads once covered the earth, but the Skinless disappeared long ago.

Casseomae is content to live alone, apart from the other bears in her tribe, until one of the ancients' sky vehicles crashes to the ground, and from it emerges a Skinless One, a child. Rather than turn him over to the wolves, Casseomae chooses to protect this human cub, to find someplace safe for him to live. But where among the animals will a human child be safe? And is Casseomae threatening the safety of the Forest and all its tribes by protecting him?

Middle-grade fans of postapocalyptic fiction are in for a treat with this fanciful and engaging animal story by the author of the Clockwork Dark trilogy.

Source: Lauren & Random House (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Humans were erased from the surface of the planet. According to the wolves, their ancestors killed the humans but according to the wise rats, they died from a lethal disease. The animals referred to them as the ‘Skinless Ones’ or the ‘Old Devils.’ They were relieved to have the Skinless Ones gone. Their absence meant that no one would hunt and kill them anymore. With the humans gone, the Ogeema, along with his wolves, dominated the forest.

The point of views came from animals. The animals in this novel talked in Vorago – their common tongue – and the boy who stumbled upon in their world was the one who wasn’t understood. Their only clue to figuring out what the boy was feeling was through observing his gestures, expressions and the tone of his voice. It was all reversed. I got a chance to see life through a different lens.

After the deaths of all her cubs, Casseomae was still stung by the pain and the loss. When she spotted the human boy coming out of the strange ship from the sky, she did not see a Skinless One but she saw a weak, harmless, fragile cub. She decided to protect him and keep him away from all the animals. I really loved seeing her forge a close relationship with a boy who didn’t speak Vorago, care and protection became her language in relating to him.

The animals in the forest were divided into groups: the hunters, the hunted and the Faithful. The Faithful consisted of dogs and other animals who served the Skinless Ones. They were loathed and hunted down mercilessly. For this reason, Pang was the only survivor of his pack. I liked Pang! He remained faithful to the humans and was hopeful that they would come back someday to reclaim the forest and end his being hunted. I’ve never imagined that dogs would suffer because of their faithfulness to humans. It broke my heart a little when I found out what happened to Pang.

I was amazed to see their intelligence and instincts at work. It was like watching National Geographic minus the narrator’s voice, plus the voices of the animals, whispering and hissing about their doubts, worries and suspicions. Together, Cass, Dumpster and Pang went on a dangerous and difficult journey, passed through unknown territory and fought off the Ogeema’s wolves to keep the boy safe. As they traveled, the boy learned from them, picking up little bits of how to survive in the forest. I just wished that there was more focus on him – the prince.

The Prince Who Fell from the Sky is a fun, imaginative and fresh take on the post-apocalyptic future. Bursting with adventure, urgency, suspense and danger, this kept me at the edge of my seat. Bemis opened my eyes to an entirely different perspective. I highly recommend this to MG readers, post-apocalyptic and dystopian readers and YA readers (something light for you)!



  1. tnx for the review precious
    this book has been on my wishlist for a while
    i love animal narraion

  2. I haven't read a lot of animal pov stories, but I do usually like them. This sounds like a good storyline as well!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake