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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Bees by Laline Paull~★★1/2

Author: Laline Paull
Title: The Bees
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Ecco
Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket: "Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.
But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.
Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window."

Taryn's Review: This book was hailed by Amazon as being in the same vein as one of my all-time favorite books, The Handmaid's Tale, so I was really jazzed about reading this book. I didn't even care what it was about since it was compared to my favorite book ever!

I was disappointed by this book. I was bored with this book. I didn't really understand this book at numerous points throughout the story. Initially, the idea of taking the complex world of bees and their hives and turning the inner working of their world into a novel seemed like a cool idea. This book's attempt, which in some moments interesting, was mostly perplexing to me. There was a huge religious overtone to the novel that seemed confusing because the bees actually have a chapel, have a version of the Lord's Prayer, and repeatedly chant the phrase, "Accept, obey, and serve." They are supposedly very regimented and intolerant toward bees that do not conform to their specific castes, yet Flora 717 was spared with no real reasoning for the mercy given to her.

Again, the concept was alluring, but the story did not hold up for me. I was so ready for this book to be over yet it kept going on and on. The only reason I actually finished it was because I'd already invested so much time in it that I figured I might as well see how it ended, and was yet again disappointed. I don't think Paull is a bad writer by any means, but this story felt messy, disjointed, and lacked the ability to captivate me. The Handmaid's Tale left me desiring more of the story as I was utterly engrossed in the narrative and when the story was finished, it had impacted me deeply. This book had none of the amazingness that is The Handmaid's Tale.

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