Simon Thorn is 12 years old and for most of his life he has hidden a secret, he can speak to animals. He has never told anyone, not even his guardian Uncle Darryl, or his mother on one of her rare visits to see him, as they might think he is mad. However things are about to take a turn for the worse and life will never be the same again. When his mother is kidnapped by an army of large rats, Simon discovers that he is not the only one keeping secrets. It seems that there are five races of people who can change into animals, they are called Animalgams and belong to the mammal, insect, reptile, bird or underwater kingdoms. Simon’s father was a mammal and his mother is a bird. However there is friction between these two kingdoms and Simon seems to be at the centre of things. This begins the start of an adventure that is going to continue over five books in the series.
This is a great story about shapeshifters and about power struggles. It is also about family, friends and having an understanding of who you are and where you fit into this world of ours. Simon is a troubled character in many ways; he knows he is ‘odd’, he gets bullied at school, his father is dead and his mother is never there. How he deals with all of this makes up an important element of the story and will impact on what happens in the future. This is one of those really strong plot driven stories that are so popular with young boys. It is very much a case of being ‘on the edge of your seat’ and is bound to become a firm favourite.