Watership Down it is not. It is good juvenile literature with a simple tale and some interesting bee facts.
Flora 717 begins to suspect deception and corruption in the hive. A bee-view fantasy for fans of Watership Down and Redwall, that is both brutal and captivating.
Immensely enjoyable read, although scientific facts do not seem to get in the way of the story line. Our heroine, Flora 717, gave birth not once but thee times by immaculate conception! But awesome descriptions of sensual delight. A wonderful read.
Interesting read but skip the Epilogue and it's a better book.
I was completely satisfied with this tale of a bee named Flora. Throughout this story, I was introduced to the communal experiences of apiary life and the culture of the hive. Well-fleshed protagonist and a beautifully told novel. I would love to see The Bees made into a sophisticated animated film. Kids and adults alike would love it. The Bees, by Laline Paull, is an edgy, sweet and imaginative work and I was moved by it.
This book is very detailed in ways that is fascinating and very true; this book goes through the hive's daily activities and includes many of the problems the bees face. The story is very gripping, just as things turns grim the bees finds out how to turn it around, especially at the end, where the climax is.
I think the concept of this novel is interesting and having studied animal behavior, most of the bee behavior is pretty accurate, if adapted to make the story better. An interesting read, especially if you're into nature, behavior, or bees!
In full disclosure, I am terrified of bees, so I was already going out on a limb here with this book.
That said, I think this was just too weird/avant-garde/experimental fiction for me. This is about as unconventional a narrator as you could possibly have in fiction. I just couldn't get into it.
The plot never really went anywhere, I found. I thought there was supposed to be some big reveal--Flora (717) was supposed to find out some big, life-altering secret from the Queen Bee, but this never really happened for me (maybe it did happen and I missed it?). There was no climax to this story. It just fell flat.
The thing that I remember happening most often in the plot was the "kiss of death" executions from the controller bees. Quite relentless and repetitive. Not a way I want to remember this narrative.
Maybe some people find this dystopian fiction to be on-par with something like The Handmaid's Tale, but I'm not seeing it. I don't think this book is somehow illuminating current human society or anything through a parable of bees. Just a weird digression into the inner workings of a bee colony. Nothing too special there. Maybe this book will be interesting in the future when all the bees have disappeared, though I hope that doesn't happen!
It's a story of royal intrigue: the queen rules with overpowering love while her advisors meddle with the working class, enforce laws with a brutal police force, and secretly plot to secure the royal line. A plucky young heroine breaks rules and crosses boundaries, dispatches enemies, and saves the day.
It's a natural history of a bee hive in an old orchard which is going to be sold soon. After a bad season; raids by the beekeeper, a mouse, and wasps; and a mysterious malady that deforms eggs, the hive has to make it through the winter and beyond.
Flora 717 is not like other bees in her hive. She's too big, too hairy, and she can think and talk--definitely not sanitation worker bee material. Elevated above her status for an experiment, Flora quickly learns much more about hive life than any other single bee. She lives longer, discovers her many talents beyond cleaning, learns the history and secrets of the hive; she's quite unlike any other bee in the hive. She sees behind the hive mind, the pheromone pathways, the foppish and selfish drones; forages beyond the orchard; and finally understands what it is she needs to do.
Watership Down meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this dystopian allegory that tackles class struggle, social conformity, and totalitarianism, all from within a beehive. Flora 717 is born into the lowest social strata of her hive, but there’s something... different about her. Her uncommon skill and insight allows her to move between social roles and gains her the admiration of her peers, but also exposes her to scrutiny of an elite group of bees close to the Queen intent on protecting the hive’s rigid social order.
“ACCEPT, OBEY, SERVE.”
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