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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Animal Graph by M. Black is a great entry in the Graph World series, a book with a powerful dystopian setting and strong characters. Told in a compelling narrative voice, this novel plunges the reader into a post-war America, where humans — mostly soldiers of the despot Borran Khan — are graphed with cells and neural tissues from animals of the Amazon. When released to be hunted in the Amazon, Jin finds another Graph, Adan, and they quickly develop a strong bond, the kind of relationship that should help them survive the austerity of life in the dangerous forest and enemies they never made. But there is just too much they will have to fight if they want to emerge alive - can they?
Here is a story that had my eyes glued to its pages, masterfully written and plotted with a lot of intricate plot points. It’s a work of pure ingenuity and brilliance, with characters that are nothing like what readers would find in a book with an apocalyptic setting. While the author explores an original concept, the book takes a powerful look at the insanity of the human mind and the perils of dictatorship. The reader is immediately connected to the key characters and develops a strong empathy with them. The story is told from the perspective of Jin and in a first person narrative voice that is irresistible.
The reader is immediately introduced to the protagonist and a wild landscape. The setting is captured in exotic language and vivid descriptions that allow readers to get clear images of places and to follow the characters through their hunts in unforgiving landscapes. Animal Graph is a captivating, hypnotic story that readers — especially fans of young adult fantasy — won’t easily put down. M. Black has what it takes to get your attention, and then keep it for all the time she wants.