Lazarball: Book One of the Anumal Empire Series written by Darren Jacobs and David Ayres sets itself in the future. The human race is long gone, replaced by the new dominant race, the anumals. Created using a combination of human and animal DNA, anumals come in many shapes and sizes, or rather, in many breeds. Clinton, our protagonist, is a feline; a lion. Having lost his parents, Clinton is now responsible for his little brother Raion. As if that weren't enough, his family is despised and the two brothers have been forced to live in the village slums and scrounge for food. All Clinton wants is to win the Lazarball tournament, so he can use the prize money to get himself, Raion, and his father's old friend, a gecko named Arkie, away from Wooburn to a place where no one's ever heard of them and they have a fighting chance. Little does Clinton know that he's destined for things much greater than simply Lazarball.
This book is phenomenal. The story is insanely creative what with the human-animal creatures (I love that they're called anumals). The Anumals behave like humans. They share our flaws and they also share our strengths. Despite his name there are those still willing to show kindness to Clinton and despite a corrupt government there are still a few willing to fight for the Right. There are also plenty happy to sell out for personal gain or treat Clinton like trash because his last name is Narfell. I guess really what I'm getting at here is that the true beauty of this book is that despite the fact that Clinton Narfell is a lion-human thing the reader can still connect with him. He is not totally alien. Reading this story I really felt for and connected with Clinton. I even grew to love his brother. This book is exciting, emotional, and fun and I definitely recommend it.
Reviewer City, State and Country: El Paso, Texas United States