Set in Battersea, this chilling British fantasy features outcast urban children (normal ones who turned Borrible after a ""bad start"") in a violent adventure with a grim, vital message. When several Rumbles appear on their land, the fierce, scrappy Borribles unite to put down the overprivileged rat-like enemy. Each Borrible unit sends one representative--an ambitious street fighter--to invade Rumble territory and destroy the High Command. After training they squabble, jockey for position, and vie distrustfully, but capture by a Borrible-Snatcher galvanizes them into a collective escape action and purposeful assault. Reaching the Rumble Bunker, they move swiftly, each after his special prey, with savage persistence. But Knocker, a last-minute appointment, has a secret assignment to bring back the Rumble treasure chest, and the mission's priority of money over life becomes clear when he sacrifices one of their number to keep the chest. The ragtag, splintered band must endure yet another betrayal just as safety seems near; it is this aspect--the self-serving evil within the ranks--that gives the book a deadly glint and sophisticated appeal. No kid-gloved parable: an allusive, politically astute vision that includes book-burning, factional tensions, and petty dictators.