Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Rootless Hardcover – November 1, 2012
|New from||Used from|
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-In a worst-case-scenario future, climate change has taken a harsh toll. The waters are rising violently, the land that is left is a dusty wasteland, and the only thing still growing is the all-powerful GenTech Corporation's bioengineered corn (aka "superfood"). Banyan, 17, is an artist, like his missing father, creating whole forests out of scrap metal, plastic, and electronic components for the wealthy. Chance meetings with some unusual people send him on a quest to find Zion, which might contain not only the last remaining trees on Earth, but possibly his father as well. What he eventually discovers is unexpected, to say the least. Themes of loss, redemption, and sacrifice are explored, along with some big questions about science and family and love. Banyan is a strong character with believable motivation and behavior. There's a lot of violence and misery, but also a surprisingly sweet romance between him and the almost suicidally daring pirate Alpha. Supporting characters are well done. Fans of the Mad Max movies, The Hunger Games, and other blood-pounding, life-or-death adventures will find much to like here, and will look forward to further installments.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
After a cataclysmic world event dwindled the world’s natural resources to almost nil, man-made trees have become merely art installations for the very rich. Banyan is one of the best tree builders around, though one would hardly know it from the way he is starved for food and work. But his latest project, constructing a tree based on a tattoo on a rich man’s wife, takes a turn when the woman’s daughter shows him a picture of a man tied to a real, living tree. More shocking than the tree is the man—it’s Banyan’s missing father. Banyan sets out on a journey fraught with dangers including pirates, flesh-eating locusts, and perhaps the biggest of big corporate baddies: GenTech, a company that manages the masses by controlling the limited food supply of “corn.” In his ambitious debut, Howard constructs a crumbling, brutal, ignorant, mystical, and barren world, and he gets his environmental message across clearly as he sets up the next book of Banyan’s continuing adventures. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
For a debut novel I give Mr. Howard props. He wrote a pretty interesting book with a lead character I really liked. And who wouldn't like reading about a tree builder that makes trees out of scrap metal? The dystopian world was well built too and there were some really lively supporting characters. Out of all the ideas and books out there right now this one gets 4 stars for being unique. I have no doubt the sequel will earn a fifth star.
Well done Mr. Howard!
First off, I want to praise Chris Howard's writing to the skies. The writing is beautiful, perfectly matched to Banyan and to the world itself. Howard manages to establish that Banyan speaks in dialect with the use of words like "reckon," but keeps it to a minimum. Thus, he clearly gets across the sound of the characters without making Rootless any less readable. Dialect done wrong is a miserable reading experience, and I think Howard takes a marvelous approach.
Howard builds from a pretty standard dystopian formula with the evil corporation GenTech, but the world itself is like nothing I've ever read before. The world has gone to seed in just about every way possible. Trees and animal life (except for humans and locusts) have died out. The only remaining food source is a genetically modified corn that the locusts cannot eat, which means the locusts have to settle for the only remaining dietary option: people. Man-eating bugs are pretty much my worst nightmare. There are also pirates, and a whole lot of other unscrupulous, cutthroat folks. In Rootless, characters really do suffer, and it's not all about the romance; people die in nasty ways, just as they should in a good post-apocalyptic.
Banyan works as a tree builder. What's a tree builder?, you might ask. Well, since the trees are gone, the landscape's a tad empty. Rich folks will pay to have trees built on their landscape. Banyan, as his father taught him, crafts trees out of metal. This is a very strange concept, but one that puts such a stark mental image of this world into my head. His cast of characters is just as memorably strange as the trees built out of metal.
As I mentioned previously, the world in Rootless is one in which countless things have gone wrong. Genetic modification of foodstuffs lead to stronger locusts, which lead to no trees. A lack of trees presents its own problems. The moon also came closer to the earth, which messed with the ocean. All of the non-human animals are gone. Everything that's left is controlled by a corporation, the only institution capable of making food without cannibalism. All of this was just way too much for me to process, and I spent a lot of time confused, trying to figure out why something happened and what repercussions it would have on society.
From interviews I've seen, I'm sure Howard has done his research and put tons of thought into everything, but he lost me. Actually, I had a similar problem with The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, which is beloved of many people who understand science much better than I do. To tell you the hard truth, I was at best a mid-B range student in high school science. I know just enough to get things really wrong and muddled. Readers with more science background or less inclined to puzzle over things endlessly will likely not have this issue. Also, since Rootless is told from a first person perspective, the world building will likely become more clear as Banyan learns more.
Oh, one last thing, Howard is a HUGE Star Wars fan. It's all over his inspiration board on Pinterest, for example. His love of Star Wars really shines through. There are some very cleverly done references, which I, having been raised from a young age to be obsessed with the original trilogy (the only one that exists in my brain), loved. Watch out for those, Star Wars fans!
I highly recommend Rootless to readers who enjoy harder science fiction with a focus on world building and storytelling. Fans of Paolo Bacigalupi and Star Wars should especially take note.