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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“The greatest human failure is to assume animals have no feelings. The human shortcoming is the inability to put themselves in our paws or feet or wings or fins.” In Animal Court by Pablo Omar Zaragoza and Susan Giffin, Prince Khari Folami is a middle-aged African billionaire and CEO of a global conglomerate, United Oil & Refinery. While on the way to confront an animal rights’ group who are protesting on his property, his helicopter is shot down and crashes into the jungle. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a landmark trial like no other; a court of the animal kingdom. Almost every animal of different species that are affected by the environmental devastations caused by United Oil's activities－directly or otherwise－will testify against him. Is there hope for the billionaire prince?
Set in central Africa, Pablo Omar Zaragoza and Susan Giffin's Animal Court has a unique and intriguing premise. With its fast-paced plot, the story is engaging from start to finish. Despite the serious environmental issues as its central theme, there are funny moments and some of them are provided by the anthropomorphized animals themselves, particularly the one called Alan Ant. It's interesting that the prince's attorney is a snake; Attorney Kane Snake to be precise. Strangely, I find it's the apt animal to defend a human in an animal court, especially one who has committed crimes against nature. Unsurprisingly, Kane Snake is an impressive attorney. A fascinating story with memorable characters and important environmental messages, this is a commendable work from Zaragoza and Giffin.