BOOK REVIEW – The Bees by Laline Paull

Flora 717 is a rebel, plain and simple. She’s gone where no other Bee has gone before, she’s acted on her instincts and gone against the herd (swarm, I suppose it would be, for Bees). As a sanitation Bee in her hive, she’s the lowest of all the ranks available, the bottom of the pile and last hope. This doesn’t stop Flora, she knows what she wants and knows that she isn’t meant to conform with the crowd. She’s different and now is time to show it.

The idea for this book struck me as original and was in essence the main reason why I gave this a read. Aside from the striking almost-luminous yellow cover, this book is a feat of written engineering, with very short chapters, throwing you right into the main story arc showing us really what Flora is made of. I’d rather not put anything here that could spoil the early-going for new readers, but this is actually a very good book. Intensely gripping and highly emotional in parts, who’d have thought I’d be writing that a book about bees is emotional, but it just is!

The only thing that really struck me as odd is the strange and sometimes disjointed anthropomorphising (take a breath!) of the bees themselves. Their ‘claws’ are clearly their version of human hands, but in some parts they’re using normal human-type objects, such as plates, etc, which just didn’t sit right with me for some reason or another. However, as I’ve said in other reviews, this is really only a minor thing and doesn’t take anything away.

If this doesn’t look like your typical read then give it a go anyway, challenge your ideas and just give it a try. That’s what I did and I loved it. Dystopian fiction at is peak.

Buy from Waterstones.com
The hardback is out 08/05/2014 from 4th Estate (Harper Collins imprint)
ISBN: 9780007557721

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