Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Bees: A Novel by Laline Paull

Book Summary : The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut.

Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. Yet Flora has talents that are not typical of her kin. And while mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is reassigned to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. Then she finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous. Enemies roam everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. But Flora cannot help but break the most sacred law of all, and her instinct to serve is overshadowed by a desire, as overwhelming as it is forbidden...

Laline Paull's chilling yet ultimately triumphant novel creates a luminous world both alien and uncannily familiar. Thrilling and imaginative, The Bees is the story of a heroine who changes her destiny and her world.

My Rating : 2 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : I really don't have much words to summarize my thoughts.

Once in a while a book comes along that is so original and so inventive that it completely blows you away. But there are some books like The Bees that tried to be unique, but its uniqueness is what causes its downfall. In this book, the bees communicate with one another and honestly, the all too humanization of bees bothered me enough, and when they said ‘amen’—actually said ‘amen’, I knew I was done.


It’s the story of Flora 717, a sanitation bee in a bee hive. She has many talents not normally seen in a sanitation bee and this special snowflake of a bee tells us her life story among the hive. When Flora was born, instead of killing her, she was saved and rose to a higher level, where she learnt she had a role to play in the ploy for power. The politics, the religious power play in its complexity in a bee hive seemed too human to me. Now torn between her One Truuueee Wuuv (Yes, our bee MC fell for a certain Sir) and her sacrifice, which side she will choose? With she fight for her fierce love that will that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, and her society—or she will chose the destiny she was meant for.

The plot was decent, and nothing happened much until the end, however the characterization of bees made it difficult for me to push on. The Bees has received comparisons with The Hunger Games and The Handmaiden’s Tale, and I honestly have no idea how. Both are great books in their genre and of history and I don’t see any valid reason behind these comparisons. Sadly, such innovative idea and its imaginative implementation didn't just work for me.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow! This sounds really weird. It's very imaginative, that's for sure. But bees talking and falling in love, in the style of Hunger Games? COME ON
    This is definitely not a book I will like,
    GREAT review, though
    Your reader,