The Bees by Laline Paull
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I heard about this book from my cousin over the Christmas holiday break. The first book that he recommended was very good which led me to have had high hopes for this book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.
The idea behind the story is a very good one. The story follows one bee from one cast who lives in a society [beehive] where the members are known by their number rather than a regular name. The downside is that this story would tend to be kind of dull, and so this bee breaks away from societal norms and going against the grain. This would be alright if somehow it either started a revolution [dystopian style] or minor infractions were done by multiple people, but in this book, the main character over-and-over again doesn't fit the mold and overcomes unbelievable odds to be the best bee at all jobs in the society. Also, there were many times where the book was very predictable. For a book that wasn't that long it took me a long time to read it because I wasn't too engaged with it and had trouble forcing myself to pick it up again.
Part of me wishes there was more science in the book to verify which parts are true and which are fiction. A lot of the book revolves around the organization of bee society and behavior. One example is the ""waggle dance", where bees wiggle to communicate information. In the book there are what seems like a lot of embellishments on this, so I wonder whether that information is true or if it is fiction. There are other things that are mentioned that I don't know about either way and would love to know what is fact and what is fiction. Furthermore, this book had a real opportunity to deal with real-world problems like colony collapse disorder, but avoided talking about it for the most part. I know it was only a work of fiction, but there's no reason the science can't be realistic or play a role.
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