By: Patrick Wood
Outer back cover: The orphaned Dushma lives in the arch of a railway viaduct with her unsympathetic Aunt Megan. Officially a non-person, by law she should be in the workhouse. Instead she spends her time exploring the tangle of streets beneath the viaduct and the outlandish, labyrinthine St Gotha's Cathedral, occasionally accompanied by the glamorous truant and shoplifter Alison Catfinger.
When police raid her home, Dushma flees. Rescued by a small band of fellow outcasts, she finds refuge in the forgotten passageways of the city's underground railway. But hardly has she begun to discover the truth about her new companions that she is once again running for her life. And this time she's not only threatened by the sadistic Detective Inspector Rapplemann, but also the elidra, the lethal, unpredictable electric dragons that guard the tunnels...
A kind of believable future world. Some of the things in the book seem a bit barbaric, but some things actually seem like a good idea. The book is set in Britain and unless you're "registered" there are things you can't do. You're automatically registered if you're born to parent who are allowed to have you. If you do something wrong it's 3 strikes and you don't have your registration any more. You can't travel or get a normal job unless you're registered. If you're not registered you end up in the workhouse and you're not allowed to have kids.
The story was quite exciting. To read about how Dushma was trying to stay away from the police and how she got on with the band of outcast boys who saved her. I would have liked to learn more about the workhouse and what goes on there and also what happens to Dushma. I'm kind of hoping for a book number 2.
Dushma has a kind of issue with electricity, I don't want to go into too much detail, but I didn't really think it had too much influence over the story and I could have done without it. Part of it was okay but Wood took it a bit too far and it just made it unbelievable, I think in a way the story would have been better without it. But other than that it was a good and exciting book.