What do you get when you have a talking cat (he prefers to be called Amazing, thank you very much) in cahoots with a “clan” of “thinking rats” (and yes, they talk too) and a “stupid-looking kid” as an added accessory? Well, apparently you get the Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. And a side to rat-catching and pied piping you would have never expected. And what, you ask, do the Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents do? Well, you see Maurice has a retirement plan. And it needs gold. And yes, Maurice is the cat. The talking cat. And if that isn’t a frightening thought I don’t know what is.
And what is this ingenious plan thunk up by a talking cat, you wonder? Well, it’s simple really. And apparent on the face of it if you just think a little bit. Especially if you have a bunch of tap-dancing, synchronised swimming, ninja rats with you. Yes, I know there’s far to much thinking involved but what do you expect! However, what awaits them in Bad Blintz is something neither Maurice nor his Educated Rodents had ever bargained for. And the borderline-crazy-living-in-a-fairytale Malicia is the least of them. Because under the streets of this impoverished town is a stench of conspiracy so strong it’s amazing the not-so-dead rats are even alive. And somewhere along this treacherous underworld not only does Maurice find more rattiness than he bargained for, he also inconveniently discovers a conscience (what is he, a dog?!) along with other…voices…vying for space in his head. Terry Pratchett is undoubtedly very fond of these disembodied ( and sometimes bodied) voices that are the harbingers of evil; made all the more menacing due to their propensity of being a rather uncomfortably honest reflection of the dark truth.
But will Maurice and his rather brilliant rodents (who are not vermin) and the not-so-stupid stupid-looking kid be able to save Bad Blintz and bring about a desperately needed happy ending for its unfortunate people?