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on Dec. 07, 2012 :
(I received a free copy, for a review)
Earth comes to a halt, when a genetically altered weed destroys what humans need, food. This leads the human race into distinct categories; first cannibals, second photosynthesized people, third old world human and then everyone else. When Levi, an old world human, goes out on his own, to try and find some cure, for his ailing son, he is captured by these photosynthesized people, who's main mission is trying to convert cannibals into them. Dr. Tula is a converted person and tries to help captured people, to understand the conversion process. But there are many elements, working against her, one of them, her boss Vitus.
I found this story to be a wonderful elaboration of the what if. The characters are well developed and you want to see justice for them. I will have to say that it is one of the most interesting books I have read this year and look forward to this author!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Pavarti K Tyler
on Nov. 06, 2012 :
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a part of Tam Linsey’s book tour with Orangeberry Book Tours. No promise of a positive review was made.
Review: Last week I hosted Botanicaust for a Book Spotlight (go check it out for an excerpt and to see the awesome trailer). Everything about this book made me want to read it. From the cover to the description to the epically awesome concept. And I wasn’t disappointed!
This is a book with genetic manipulation and Amish set in a post apocalyptic world? Oh and the 9th word is CANNIBAL. It’s like it was written with me in mind. The main character, Tula, is an idealist. She believes that the genetic conversion she went which made her one of the “Haldanian Protectorate” is the only way for humanity to survive in a world where the UV rays are intense and food is scare. The Haldanians are one of 3 groups of people known to her. The others are cannibals (yep, exactly what you think) and the Fosselites, a group of people who through their own genetic manipulation have found a way for cells to replenish, making them essentially immortal. However, far from her home there is another group called the Old Order who have keep the pastoral ways and religious beliefs of a time long past alive by avoiding contact with any outsiders.
Levi, a member of the Old Order, is driven to leave his home in order to find a cure for his son and a number of others suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. When Levi is captured and taken to the Haldanian Protectorate for possible conversion, Tula’s memories of a childhood long forgotten re-emerge and make her question the ethics of forced conversion and the Haldanian’s policy of euthinization for those who refuse.
Botanicaust manages to cover issues of medical ethics, cross culture communication, religion and what it really means to be human, all while telling a phenomenally interesting and entertaining story. As Tula learns more about the world outside of the Haldanian Protectorate, we are taken on a journey where nothing is quite as it seems.
Linsey does an impressive job of illustrating the difficulties of communication barriers when language and culture are so different they seem insurmountable. Even at the most stressful of times though, the humanity of the individuals we meet shines bright.
In addition to the story of Tula and Levi, Botanicaust also introduces us to the character of Vitus. Although he is easily painted as the bad guy, he is an excellent representation of the kind of Nationalistic and Selfish mentality which keeps people, even today, from reaching out, across their comfort zone and finding peace. Vitus’ motivations are simple, he wants to live, he believes that natural born Haldanians are better than converts and he wants the prestige and recognition he feels he deserves. He a symbol of racism and classism, and with his entitlement comes the worst aspects of human nature.
The intricacy of the medical explanations and detail to which Ms. Linsey explains the science involved makes the concept of green people, pulling nourishment from the sunlight through their skin completely believable. I’m not a science person, but I know enough to know that while this may not be technically possible, Botanicaust makes it plausible enough to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride. She manages to do the same in representing the religious beliefs of the Old Order without ever looking like she is either proselytizing or condescending their beliefs.
An absolutely impressive work, Botanicaust is just the kind of thing I love. It’s deep in concepts, takes broad strokes without simplifying and steeped in larger picture issues. All the while, Botanicaust is an entertaining and at times quite romantic story. Highly recommended.
(review of free book)
on Sep. 12, 2012 :
** spoiler alert ** I think the world created in this dystopian novel was very unique. I enjoyed reading about the details of how people tried to survive in a world with limited resources.
The world-building was exceptional apart from the Old Ordnung - it sounded like a description of Amish life. I liked the way others tried to cope: the scientific approach of the Haldanians, the everlasting life of the Fosselites, and of course the different Cannibal tribes.
I really liked the part where Levi is debating as how he and Tula as a couple would fit his old life, how would others react and how he'd feel once back in his surroundings.
Unfortunately for me, the characters were not developed enough. Apart from Tula, our heroine, others seemed to be rather two-dimensional: the racist scientist, the selfish doctor, the religious fanatic, the couple to show that cannibals are not all bad etc. All those characters seemed to be in the story only to support Tula's journey. It took a lot away from the story for me.
I'm still debating between 3 and 4 stars, I'd give it a 3.5 easily.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Sep. 10, 2012 :
When Levi’s son is stricken with a respiratory disease (cystic fibrosis I think) he risks everything by leaving his Amish like existence and venturing into the outside world where cannibals run rampant and survival is harsh. Levi lives in a post-apocalyptic world where all vegetation had died or became poisonous and humanity has resorted to cannibalism. Dr. Tula Macoby works converting former cannibals into photosynthesis humans who can live on sunlight (like plants) by absorbing it into their skin. The side effect of the conversion is the skin turns green (like a plant). Tula risks everything to help Levi, but how will these two people from two different worlds survive in a world where they are hunted and survival is something to be fought for.
So, I wasn’t looking forward to this book. I often find books involving cannibals overly gore and they often substitute shock and awe for a good storyline. However, the plot outline of this book intrigued me and I decided to give it a chance. I am so glad I did. This book is so much more. I have to admit when the prospect of “green men and women” came up I was disheartened (I had faint flashes of William Shatner seducing green women which made me shudder). However, the “green” aspect was not gimmicky and was very well written. The plot is fully engrossing and I hung on every word waiting for the next and the next until it was sadly done. I read this book in one day it was so good. I love Tula and the new world she lives in. The writing is so vivid I could clearly picture the world the book is set in (this book would make an awesome movie). When the center is described with the children being taught it reminded me of Brave New World. Another aspect I enjoyed is the love story that is interwoven into the tale (I know a love story in a cannibal story blew my mind to). I really can’t say enough good things about this book. I love dystopian novels so this was perfect for me, but I would suggest this to everyone. It’s one of those stories I think everyone can find something they like in.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Aug. 31, 2012 :
I dont read scfi.. but this was a really good book! Tam Linsey built a world of cannibals, plant people, immortal scientists, and normal people! The story was easy flowing and the characters were well developed. Each group had there good guys and bad guys! it was filled with action and love and lots of God Will! Fighting to find where they belong, they must find who the real enemies are! I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
Mallory Heart Reviews
on Aug. 28, 2012 :
Review of Botanicaust
Reviewed for Lovers of Paranormal Goodreads Group
I just want to say “Wow-what a job of world-building”-it really stretched my imagination, plus the novel is a very enjoyable read. Set some distance into the future, four centuries after the “botanicaust,” in which the world’s total crop output is destroyed, by manmade mistakes including pesticides, leaving only a plant that is toxic, and a few other scattered types of plant life. By genetic modification, a species of modified humans exist, who are themselves photo-synthetic: they are very similar to plants, thriving on sunlight, but plant life is toxic to them. They seldom need to eat, either; and oddly, their skin is green-again like plants.
Other ethnic groups also exist: the Holdouts, who are similar to Amish, speak German, and follow only “Gotte Wille” (God’s Will); and the Fosselites, famed scientists and researchers who have survived intact since before the Botanicaust, very long-lived individuals indeed.
Author Tam Linsey has worked an extraordinary world-building in this novel, and I am thankful to see it will be a series-I’m eager for the next installment.
(reviewed the day of purchase)