4 years have passed since the extermination of the rats in London, following the nightmare outbreak, which killed hundreds of people. But a mutant white rat has survived the extermination, and the danger of the rats is far from over. The mutant rat has grown and mated, and created offspring in it’s own image. Just like before, these mutants are dominating the black rats, but the black rats are becoming restless. The mutant white rat who rules them all is beginning to remember its past, and all of the rats are now hungry for the taste of human flesh. Epping Forest and its inhabitants are no longer safe. Will anyone be able to save them? or will the horrors of London be repeated?
Lair is the follow on from James Herbert’s The Rats, and the 2nd book in the series. I read The Rats back in April (FULL REVIEW), and I loved every second of it, I would probably go as far as to say that it is my favourite horror that I have read so far. So, naturally, I could not wait to read Lair! I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t live up to the standard that Herbert had set with The Rats, but I certainly had no reason to worry.
Lair was just as gripping, gory, and utterly terrifying as The Rats. I think that Herbert’s choice to use entirely new characters and a completely new setting really helped to keep this story exciting. There were a few references to the previous story, but not enough to make it feel repetitive, and more to refresh your mind of important details. I never expected the rats to be any creepier than they already were, but Herbert really upped the game with this one. I don’t think I will ever be able to look at a rat and feel safe ever again.
The horror doesn’t begin immediately, but that in no way hinders the book. I actually enjoyed getting to know the characters a little before all hell broke loose. It made me feel a lot more involved, and invested in the rest of the story, and certainly made the following events a lot more tense. I found myself a lot more worried about what would happen to the characters in Lair, than I did while reading The Rats.
When the horror does begin, it is much more gruesome than The Rats, and there is a lot of blood-shed. There were definitely parts that made me feel a little sick, which is very rare for me while reading (The only other book to really make me feel like this was American Psycho), but that’s exactly how I want to feel when reading this type of book! If you’re squeamish, and not into gory books, then I wouldn’t recommend reading Lair. To all my fellow horror fans, who can deal with the gory details, I would highly recommend giving Lair a read (and The Rats too obviously).
This is only the second James Herbert book that I’ve read, but he is becoming a favourite of mine already! I am really looking forward to reading Domain (3rd book in the series), and all of his other work.
I give Lair an easy 5/5 rating!
Have you read Lair? If yes, what were your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments!