Title: Resembling Lepus
Author: Amanda Kool
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery
Earth’s sixth mass extinction has ended, and in its wake a post-dystopian civilization has struggled to rebuild after a global cataclysm shattered its ecosystems and propelled all life to the brink of eradication.
In a world where the air is unhealthy, food is strictly rationed, and the energy consumption that triggered the destruction is highly regimented, scientists experiment with artificial biospheres to secure survival and techno-mimicry to breathe life into long-dead species. It’s an unavoidable surveillance state where every living thing is tracked, numbered, and categorized.
In this fledgling society born out of catastrophic loss and now challenged with a new reverence for all life, a lone detective is haunted by a series of murders traumatizing the populace. Assisted by a medical colleague, she finds herself entangled in a crisis with far-reaching consequences and dangerous repercussions that threaten the fragile balance of all existence.
What is the impact on humanity when mankind is required to play god to the creatures they have all but destroyed?
Why This Book
Okay, so Resembling Lepus doesn’t actually have a garden or orchard, per se, but it does have wild green spaces. Set in a post-dystopian world, humans are trying to rebuild with a new reverence for all living things. When a heinous murder occurs, it throws everyone off balance, and offers the reader a great deal of food for thought. With this new reverence for all living things, scientists are hard at work building up biospheres to ensure the survival of many species. There isn’t a garden, but many of the key parts of this novella occur in wild green spaces, and I really liked the focus on nature and its importance.
As the author mentioned in my interview with her:
“I hope readers take a good look at their backyards or parks or whatever green, or blue, or wild sandy places they have access to and just watch for a bit. Everything in a single square metre (above and below) is precious* and vital and interconnected.
*Except Europeans wasps. That’s a prejudice I have and a hill I will die on.”
Resembling Lepus might not have a garden in the strict sense, but I felt I couldn’t not include a book that focused on the importance of nature and life.
My review: “My biggest complaint with science fiction and dystopia is that I have a hard time connecting the present and future. What I loved about this novella was I could see the connection. I can see how climate change can impact the flora and fauna and how that might make the world collapse and engender the changes we see in Resembling Lepus“
A Green Man Review said “The very nature of the mystery lends itself to the setting and the oddities that exist within it. By a similar token any detail of the setting and world can easily seem important or flavorful, yet easily feed into the solution to the murder. A mystery like this comes along rarely, readers should enjoy it greedily and treasure every word”
Jenjenreviews gave this 3 stars, saying “I find the exploration of where society is heading to be both intellectually stimulating and potentially groundbreaking. As as a result, a part of me feels like this novella would have worked better as a full-length novel. Giving the story 100+ more pages to unfold would have helped solve the issue of the mystery being solved too quickly, while also giving readers a fuller picture of the surrounding world’s circumstances. I ended the book wanting to know more”
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Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.
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