Birdgenaw’s complex and nuanced second installment in The Antunite Chronicles is an exhilarating adventure that spans scientific evolution, geopolitics, and climate change. It took centuries for the planet of Poo-Ponic to become livable and rich in natural resources. But when a malevolent villain Antilla takes over, the democracy fails, and the once lush planet begins to turn into a barren wasteland. It’s up to Anthiery and his mate Antianna to stand against the corrupt ruler and save the planet. Birdgenaw skillfully draws the reader into the story that has echoes in our own world. His richly imagined landscape is filled with ants and other insects, who are intelligent enough to build universities and cyborgs but are naïve enough to let tyranny take over. He portrays the insects as protagonists and uses them as caricatures to help highlight our own troubled socio-political situation. The narrative is smooth, with small and large surprises leading to a satisfying final reveal which answers enough questions while leaving plenty to make readers eager for the next installment. Themes of autonomy, freedom, tyranny, and personal choice are woven nicely into the affecting narrative as Birdgenaw raises questions about democracy, free will, and climate control. The book is as much an entertaining dystopian tale as it is an elegant social commentary.
Categories: Science Fiction