Imagine a world where animals have their own society, complete with protection rackets, bakeries, and historians. Kit's parents are archaeologists researching the history of raccoons, and they happen to be raccoons. But it seems that some knowledge is considered dangerous. The "Flealess" or the pets who live with People are trying to find a way to force the wild animals out of the city, even the rundown area known as Ankle Snap Alley. Tradition says that Azban the First Raccoon made a deal with Brutus the Duke of Dogs guaranteeing the wild animals the right to stay in Ankle Snap Alley and that the agreement is recorded on the Bone of Contention. When Flealess sources find out that Kit's parents may have found a clue to the Bone's whereabouts, they will do anything to stop the Bone from being found and the agreement honored. Suddenly Kit goes from being a carefree youngster in the wild to carrying out a mission in the city to find his Uncle Rik and get his help in recovering the Bone.
The characterizations of the various animals are entertaining and play into their motivation for their actions. There are the church mice trying to bring everyone together in peace. The retired fighting rooster (with his gorgeous feathers) who runs a barber shop. The sneaky raccoons running a shell game for gullible types. The finches who shout out the news and the hens who sit and gossip. It's all very lively and makes the intolerance of the house pets seem very shallow and narrow-minded.
For fans who enjoy Guardians of Ga'Hoole, The Warriors, or The Tale of Despereaux, this is another animal tale that packs a punch of intrigue, danger, and action. There are characters to cheer for and others you wish would get what they deserve. Kit and his allies fight the good fight on behalf of their community with courage and tenacity.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Here are links to the book trailer, and the author's website.