Non-Review: “Antlands,” Genevieve Morrissey

A non-review is something I do when I couldn’t finish a book. I won’t rate it on review sites, but I’ll tell you why I stopped reading it so you can get some idea of whether the book would appeal to you or not.

Genevieve Morrissey’s Antlands (The Antlands Series) is found in the sci-fi section, but it certainly doesn’t read like SF at first. Mankind apparently bred people called “Ants” as low-intelligence laborers, and like most such experiments, it got out of hand. The Ants are now Man’s greatest enemy–ruthless killers who are at their best when working together. Man seems to have split into two groups over the next thousand years–Men, and Foresters. When a young girl survives an Ant raid but is badly injured, some Foresters grudgingly take her in to try and save her life.

After the initial attack on the girl’s village, everything turns into worldbuilding info-dumps. Foresters are basically elves–forest-dwellers, bow-wielding, reserved, intelligent, aloof, and snobs. We learn about their housing, their security, their politics, their government… either in straight-out info dumps to the reader, or through Deer, the major Forester character, explaining things to Anne, the little girl. The effort to shoe-horn in the worldbuilding gets so bad that while Deer explains their governmental hierarchy, we get treated to the notion that “he didn’t see from her eager expression that…” followed by a whole paragraph on her people’s governmental structure. I mean, that’s an awful lot to communicate in one facial expression.

I was so frustrated by the lack of even the beginning of a plot–and by the frequency of info-dumps–that I stopped reading early on.

Quick content note for the deaths of adults and children in that opening raid.

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