The Inferior by Peadar Ó Guilín was actually published in 2007, but there's been a bit of a buzz building up around it recently.
Here's the blurb:
There is but one law: eat or be eaten. Stopmouth and his family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind. It is a savage, desperate existence. And for Stopmouth, considered slow-witted hunt-fodder by his tribe, the future looks especially bleak. But then, on the day he is callously betrayed by his brother, a strange and beautiful woman falls from the sky. It is a moment that will change his destiny, and that of all humanity, forever.
Love that first line: "eat or be eaten." That's a brilliant hook. From what I've read, The Inferior takes place in a world far removed from the usual fantasy trappings, where a tribe of humans - living amid the ruins of some long-forgotten city - fight a daily struggle against all manner of nasty critters. There is also a vague sci-fi element as well, with the strange globes that travel in the skies, just to mix things up a little.
Quite a lot has been made of the book's 'young adult' tag, which some reviewers have found surprising given the cannibalistic, survival themes that pervade the story. Still, that's marketing folk for you.
From what I've heard so far, I'm definitely going to be checking out The Inferior as soon as possible. A review will of course be up as and when. In the meantime, feel free to check out some of the reviews already posted throughout the blogosphere by my fellow bloggers:
Review at Realms of Speculative Fiction
Review at The Wertzone
Review at Graeme's Fantasy Book Review