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Here we have a new kind of apocalypse, one in which humans are at war with ants, joined later by cats, dogs, and more. Just what is going on??
Robert Repino’s debut lands somewhere between Animal Farm and those B-movie sci-fi thrillers with giant, mutated insects. Give this to teens looking for something different. Maybe Grasshopper Jungle fans looking to take their science fiction fandom to the next level. Or readers whose humor would embrace pets who rebel against their owners. The cover art alone should garner some interest.
There are so many dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels being published right now. This one stands out in the crowd.
REPINO, Robert. Mort(e). 352p. Soho Pr. Jan. 2015. Tr $26.95. ISBN 9781616954277.
Imagine a world where an ant Queen rules a Colony of ants that are the size of school buses. The Queen has developed a chemical that will make all animals larger, capable of speaking, and gives them hands (with opposable thumbs). Finally, this Colony and these animals wage war on humans… and win. Sebastian is a housecat, the defender of his home and the humans inside; Sheba is the dog next door, who comes to visit Sebastian when her male comes to “visit” Sebastian’s female. The day before the Change, their worlds collapse as Sebastian’s male kills Sheba’s newborn puppies and kicks her out of the house. Post-takeover, Sebastian becomes Mort(e): a mercenary cat who helps wipe out the remaining humans and create an animal-run society, all the while seeking his only friend, Sheba. Realizing that this new society is no better than the human one, he allows himself to become a spy for the human resistance—in no small part because they’ve told him he’s part of a prophecy that includes Sheba. The final scenes will make readers cry. The earlier chapters will make any reader within 10 feet of an animal (ant, spider, cat, or other) very nervous. This is the perfect companion title for George Orwell’s 1984, and a very interesting twist on dystopian societies.—Laura Pearle, Miss Porter’s School, CT
Filed under: Contemporary Fiction, Science Fiction, Weekly Reviews
About Angela Carstensen
Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.
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