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Missing Link


Written By:Kate Thompson - 2003

  • Origins - Kate Thompson cover


One girl's desperate search. One boy's secret journal. Their gripping quest for truth.

What is the truth about Cats and Dogs? Two unlikely heros uncover the missing link in this captivating story.

All Nessa knew was that Cats and Dogs were different. Always had been. Always would be.

An unspeakable disaster has left our world a very different place. In this bleak landscape, a Cat named Nessa has been exiled in order to protect her from a violent conflict with neighbouring Dogs. When Nessa meets fellow exile, a Dog named Farral, these unlikely companions set off to uncover the truth about their ancestry. Could Cats and Dogs have more in common than they think?

Meanwhile, a boy living at a secret community called Fourth World, where animals can talk and children are born with animal genes, keeps a journal about his unusual life. But nothing has prepared these genetic pioneers for the bizarre alien presence that arrives. Could this strange creature be the missing link between humans and animals that the people of Fourth World have been looking for?

Told in alternating chapters, Nessa's quest and this secret journal will relate two remarkable stories that come together in a dramatic conclusion. Award-winning author Kate Thompson has crafted a brilliant page-turner that unravels the secrets of a society's origins and the terrifying possibilities when science and nature collide.


He grinned and ran his hand, for the hundredth time, through his scraggy locks. "I've alway wanted to make some kind of stronger link with your folk. Try and understand what divides us. What the root causes were."

"Root causes?"

"I suppose they're buried too far back in the past. But there might be ways of trying to dig them out."

"What kind of ways?"

Farral glanced at her and she could see that he was apprehensive. 'We could exchange our stories."

It was a step too far. There were Cats in Nessa's community, and in others, who were famous for the stories they told. There were Dogs who would creep to the edges of the circle during the Cat festival nights in the hope of hearing a new work by one of the more renowned storymakers, and others who would pay them handsomely to come to a Dog party and entertain the guests. But Farral wasn't talking about that kind of story. What he was proposing was far more disturbing than that.


Origins is the latest enthralling fantasy by award-winning author Kate Thompson, who has received tremendous critical acclaim—including seven starred reviews and the Whitbread Children's Book Award for her novel The New Policeman.

"A storyteller of genius." —The Irish Times




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