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Botanicaust Paperback – August 5, 2012
About the Author
Born and raised in Alaska, I use the long dark winters to nurture my love for reading and learning. Science has always been especially interesting to me. Senior year of high school, I took AP Chemistry and AP Biology, won a scholarship to a DOE camp at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, toured the superconducting supercollider, and karyotyped DNA from the HIV virus. Then I realized if I pursued biomedical engineering like I planned, I might never see the outside of a lab again. So I attended Willamette University and earned a Bachelor of Science in English. (I still think that's funny.) I began writing my first novel as my senior thesis. Maybe someday I'll rewrite that ugly thing and publish it. After college graduation, I convinced my husband to move back to Alaska, had two children, bought a house, became a Certified Master Gardener, and began the challenge of gardening and farming in the High North. Thus began my obsession with self-sufficiency. Newly attuned to the land and our food supply, my mind created futuristic scenarios of a world without plants. A world without food. A world where bio-engineering might be the only thing that could save humanity. I drew on my previous grounding in science, plus the things I'd learned about plants and animals while farming to create the Botanicaust world. When I'm not writing, you can find me either outside, weeding the garden, fishing the river for salmon, stalking the woods for moose, or inside canning or cooking while listening to my favorite audio books. I currently live in Chugiak, Alaska with my husband, two children, and our house bunny, Abigail.
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Top customer reviews
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Botanicaust is a post-apocalyptic thriller that is unlike any others. It starts off a little slow and, frankly, is hard to connect to because the reader is not told what actually happened to destroy civilization until halfway through the book. The tension the "not knowing" created is what kept me reading though.
The Holdout is an old religious order (Christian based) that survived the Botanicaust. They are mostly cast as the "good guys" even though the protagonist, Levi, a resident of the Holdout, begins the story by defying the order of his leaders to stay within the fence of their compound. During his journey and subsequent trials in the outside world to find a cure for his son, who has cystic fibrosis, he constantly questions his religious beliefs. Yet even until the end of the book, the Holdout members are portrayed as good. Meanwhile, there are 3 forms of "bad guys" - cannibals, people who genetically altered themselves with plant DNA so that they could photosynthesize, and people who genetically altered themselves to stop aging. As each of the characters reveals their true selves through their actions and behavior, the lines between good and bad begin to blur for the reader just as they do for Levi.
The arguments Levi makes to himself and to others about the place of religion in society were thought-provoking and powerful. This was not your usual uninspired and conventional arguments for or against religion. Neither were they out of context or preachy. All the religious talk was done strictly within the context and confines of the plot. It was refreshing to be able to read a Christian(ish?) book that didn't sound like a moral judgment on me personally.
There were a couple of other things that set this book apart from other post-apocalyptic ones. First, this one is set several hundred years AFTER the created apocalypse. This setting changes the tone of the book from one of basic survival to one of creating a BETTER world. Second, the stated apocalypse is totally unique from anything else I've ever read, and thus the societies and characters are new and interesting. Third, there aren't really any stereotypes or flat characters like you often see in this genre. As I mentioned, each character shows growth or reveals hidden motives that make them real.
All of these things make for a great book. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy post-apocalyptic stories. Also recommended for adult Christian readers who are looking for something a little different (warning though - there is a little bit of sex and cursing in the book).
The same can be said for 2 other surviving groups or races. One group is a religious sect whose decisions are based on their faith. Basically, they want to live as humanly and humanely as possible. They strive to live off the devastated land. Past farmlands devoid of edible vegetation but instead overrun with weeds.
Speaking of plants brings me to the third group of people who are Green through some sort of genetic technology or photosynthesis. They believe all of the planet’s survivors should be green. They believe their way is the only way. However, it is not easy being green.-
Of course this only causes great conflict throughout the 3 groups. Although the Green ppl and the Religious Sect are both on the cannibal menu and agree something needs to be done, they cannot agree on solutions.
This is just a bit of the foundation of the story without reviewing too much. This is a great read for the Sci-Fi enthusiast and possibly for the Dystopia lovers as well.
It is a very intelligent, well-reasoned book. (I did not research the science of the book so I will merely say that I found the science to be possible to the extent that any sci-fi book should be for a casual reader: I see a way to get to "then" from "now".)
It is also among the best-edited self-published books I've come across. If there were any there/their/they're, its/it's, or too/to/two errors, they were subtle enough to not catch my eye.
Kudos to Tam Linsey!!