In this debut sci-fi novel, great responsibility is thrust upon a young warrior descended from rabbits who’s fighting to restore peace among humans, animals and the Earth.
The Tsaeb, sapient descendants of animals, have evolved exceptional intelligence well beyond human capacity. They are guided by Immediacy, a “philosophy of consequences” that leads them to strive for peace, balance and environmental sustainability. Though the Tsaeb have evolved, humans—known as the Danog—remain mired in selfish ideals, causing an unsustainable, damaging effect on the environment. Still, for over 100 conflictless years, the Tsaeb and Danog have peacefully coexisted on opposite sides of a border, according to treaties. Corr Syl, a young Tsaeb descended from rabbits, just completed his warrior training and wishes to travel the world. But when the Danog violate the treaty by bringing weapons into Tsaeb territory, Corr is called upon to visit Danog territory to forge some sort of resolution. Reluctantly accepting his assignment, Corr sets off with beautiful Rhya Bright, a fiery young Tsaeb warrior also descended from rabbits. The stark contrast between Tsaeb and Danog cultures illuminates the consequences of human materialism and shortsightedness, highlighting man’s impact on the planet. Although the story gets off to a bit of a slow start, the rich landscape and intricate plot strikingly explore modern understandings of war and the relationships among colonizers, indigenous peoples and the land. It may be difficult to keep track of the numerous places and characters, but the story’s flow remains relatively uncompromised, and an appendix serves as a helpful reference. Rogers (Arizona Wildlife Notebook, 2012) draws from the classic sci-fi wheelhouse, à la Octavia Butler, melding those motifs with fantasy elements in a style sure to please fans of either genre.
A beautifully written YA novel that will captivate environmentalists and sci-fi fans of all ages.