Review: ‘The Pale’, by Clare Rhoden

The Outside can be a dangerous place.

But so can the inside.

It’s been years since the original cataclysm, but life has been structured, peaceful, and most of all uneventful in the Pale. The humachine citizens welcome the order provided by their ruler, the baleful Regent.

However, when one of their own rescues a human boy, Hector, from ravenous ferals on the Outside, their careful systems are turned upside down.

As Hector grows more and more human-strange, the citizens of the Pale grow uneasy.

What will happen when the Outside tries to get in?

Purchase Link  –

My Review

Thanks to Rachel for arranging this blog tour and to CLare for sending me a copy of her novel.

The Settlement has a stratified caste system – if you don’t meet the Assessment standards you live a life of hard labour and toil. If you do, it’s luxury and following your interests.

The Tribes wander through the Broad Plain, living as lightly as possible.

The Humachines hole up in the Pale hiding from humans, ferals and canini alike, ruled by the Regent and a strict regime.

The Canini – genetically modified canines – live in packs, surviving away from their erstwhile human masters.

Then the Aftershock happens and completely changes the landscape, killing humans and canini alike. The canini and tribes join forces to survive, while the Settlement becomes ever more insular.

Things are changing in the Pale too, as a young serviceman, Tad, finds a human child outside the gate and brings him in.

The plot follows the adventures of the three groups – tribes/canini, Pale and Settlement through 20 years following the Aftershock, their changing societies and difficulties.

Why did I like it?

There are talking dogs! Humans who actually listen to dogs. Other than that, the world is imaginative, the world-building comprehensively thought through and the characters engaging. The descriptions give the reader an idea of the world without being overwhelming, while the different societies are intriguing.

There are hints at a highly technological past in which humans modified themselves beyond recognition and destroyed their world, which underlies how each community reacts to the events in the book. There are creatures, clearly the result of terrible experimentation, that horrify all of the characters but aren’t really understood.

The writing is gripping and easy to read. The book flew by and I spent an afternoon immersed in the lives of the characters of the Broad plain.

It took me a bit to get into this book, but once I finally got myself settled (brain weasels and feelings of guilt for not ‘doing jobs’) I really go into it, and if I wasn’t in desperate need of sleep I’d be starting the second book in the series.

Author Bio –

Clare Rhoden is a writer, speaker and reviewer inspired by politics, culture and the march of history. Her thought-provoking stories and popular characters inspire hope and optimism through challenging times, with novels ranging from wartime history to the dystopian world of the Pale.

Social Media Links –



Instagram: @clarerhodenauthor

Twitter: @ClareER

Giveaway to Win Signed Copies of all three Chronicles of the Pale books & wolf-dog toy made by Borchetta Plush Toys of Australia (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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