The Borribles: Go For Broke, by Michel de Larrabeiti (Book Review #3)

In the first book we were introduced to the Borribles, runaway children that get pointy ears and become immortal. The Borribles are lovers of freedom, don’t use money, steal anything they need, live on the streets and in abandoned houses and love to share stories of their adventures. They are the middle ground between Peter Pan’s Lost Boys and street urchins. After the expedition on the first book to Rumbledom to attack the Rumbles, dangerous rat-like creatures, the Borribles now need to face the police. The London authorities seem now set in ending the Borrible phenomena once and for all.

If in the first tome from the Michael de Larrabeiti’s series the little ones needed to live an adventure to get good names – Borribles must conquer their names through their exploits – in Go For broke they have to fight for survival and to keep their freedom. It all begins when Charlote receives an anonymous note saying that the horse Sam, that helped them at Rumbledom, is in trouble. The survivors from the precious adventure, Vulge, Stonks and Sidney, get together with newcomer Twilight and Spiff, informal Battersea leader and a living legend. A Borrible that has been running the streets since Victorian times.

The author brought the series to new heights in the excellent Go For Broke. Spiff’s character, than had a small part on the first book, is built exceptionally here. He is always smiling, but is dangerous as a dagger, constantly manipulates the situation to his advantage and you are never sure of this true motivations. Another intriguing character is Old Ben, the homeless, and “honorary Borrible”. A guy that lives on a dump and considers himself “the richest man in the world”, because he has access to all the useful things the citizens of London throw away. Other great characters include the law-obsessed police inspector and the Sergent that only thinks about eating.

After a few skirmishes and near escapes from the police, the Borribles find themselves in the territory of the feared Wendles, a dark and militarized Borrible tribe who exchanged it’s freedom for a dictatorship of a Wendle called Flinthead.

Go For Broke is the high point of a strange series of violent children’s adventures.

Guilherme Solari is a Brazilian writer and journalist from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has written about movies, literature and videogames for some of Brazil’s biggest news sites. He is the author of THE CASCAVEL CHRONICLES, a love letter to 80's action movies, as well as the cyberpunk CYBERSAMPA series.