The Boy with the Tiger’s Heart – Linda Coggin

“The snow falls heavily that night and in the morning lies in deep drifts, which smooth over the shapes of the jagged rocks and grassy knolls. It hides the bog holes that lie at the edge of the marshes and covers the wrecks of the burnt-out cars. It sparkles like crushed diamonds. It is pure, white and perfect, but to the girl when she looks out from her hiding place it is a bad omen.”

A girl raised by wolves, a scientist with a soft spot for animals and a world where animals are seen as dangerous and left either trapped or dead. The scientist teaches the girl to talk and act human, but never gives her a name. His animals are some of the few left in this twisted world yet the man has no permit, and the police eventually come. The girl with no name has to leave, she has to run away, but the question is can she and Able Dancer, her bear companion, really get away and not get caught? In their bid for freedom they meet two boys, Caius and Jay who are both willing to help the pair hide. together the four of them will make the deadliest of enemies in their desperate bid to reach The Edge, a forbidden place where nature is unrestrained and there are no shackles or boundaries.

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This is a beautiful, poetic story which will melt any heart and have any reader backing the characters on their journey. The Boy with The Tiger’s Heart reminded me of what it is to be human and why there is more to fear than fierce animals in our world.

The story follows a character who eventually finds a name as Nona, or No Name. She was raised by wolves until the authorities performed The Cull, a desperate attempt to rid the populated world of animals before they fought back at the fact their habitats were disappearing. That in itself is crazy and makes for an exceptionally brilliant plot line within the story. Nona’s adventure running away from the farm which has been home puts her in the path of Jay and Caius, but also in the path of some horrible characters which really aren’t very nice.

This will be a relatively short review as in all honesty the book is relatively short itself. It was only around 190 pages and I completed it very quickly. I liked the story and it was sweet. It made me fear for the safety of Nona and her companions, reminded me that sometimes animals can act like humans just as much as humans can behave like animals and think about how horrible the world could be, in not much time at all really. It was obviously set in a future society and one that was dystopian in its feel, but not so dystopian it was fantasy, not really anyway.

I really enjoyed the conspiracy element about The Edge and how the fear of that part of the world was enough to keep people away. I thought the end of the book was brilliant and although there was a lot of death and destruction, it was an incredible book all in all. I will definitely be on the look out for more by Linda Coggin.

The Boy With the Tigers Heart was published on August 28th by Hot Key Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
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