Book review: A dystopian novel I really enjoyed

Just finished reading a terrific speculative novel by an author I wasn’t familiar with, Jennifer Anderson. I don’t normally like dystopian literature/movies, as they’re usually so grim they’re just depressing. But once in a while such a good story comes along that it’s well worth the read/watch.

When I read the book description on Amazon, I found the premise intriguing, and the book sample hooked me further. In BUKU, scientists inadvertently create a beast far more dangerous than the hybrid Indominus rex dinosaur in Jurassic World. The “buku” are the result of genetic tinkering gone very badly wrong — from the docile multi-resource animal they were intended to be, they mutate quickly into monsters that view people as food and ravage the world ecologically. Anderson’s writing describes the tragic chain of events simply and brilliantly, then homes in one of the few remaining groups of people struggling to survive after the massive disaster.

This rag-tag town hiding in the mountains is very well-drawn, their society completely believable, from the despot who slowly took over control through manipulation and then intimidation, to the heroine, Iris, who learned ethics from her grandfather and serves as both a hunter and a medic. Her life is slightly better than many others, due to her value in the community, but harrowing as she and her fellow hunters venture out amongst the increasingly more dangerous herds of buku to gather what food they can, and as she dodges the increasingly volatile town politics.

But one day the hunters she runs with come across people they’ve never seen before, who could be enemies, but who could also hold the key to turning the tide in the impending extinction of humanity.

Anderson writes extremely well, I’m happy to say, and has come up with a really intriguing concept. Frankly, I think her novel would make a great movie that would be a very welcome change from all the uninspired, rehashed tripe in Hollywood lately. I can highly recommend this novel, available on Amazon.

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