Harnessing Altruism

Fiction - General
304 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2017
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Sava Buncic is a novelist, long-time scientist and university professor. To be Had is his fourth novel, following Mantle Convection (2015), Inside Out of Bubble (2016) and Harnessing Altruism (2017). Sava has lived in constant motion between New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Serbia for most of his adult life.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Harnessing Altruism by Sava Buncic is a classic book that fans of the human condition will adore, only the setting and the storyline are quite different and unique. Ed grows up in a very cruel world, knowing what life is like in the slums, drifting from one unfortunate situation of need and poverty to another. It’s a story set against a turbulent world where the strong prey on the weak, and where the sense of justice is steadily being eroded by the urgent need for survival. It is in a very dismal political climate, with climate change bringing untold suffering to humankind, that the hero of this book has to recreate himself, and tread the path between life and death, dream and wakefulness. Can he survive a merciless world riddled with injustices?

Sava Buncic is a great storyteller who creates a world that is both real and prophetic, a strong warning of what mankind could be drifting towards. The writing is excellent with absorbing descriptions, a vision of a world no one would love to live in. The characters featured in this book are very compelling and Ed will come across as a powerful symbol of hope and the innate conflict reflecting the tensions that inhabit the human spirit. The reader is keen to know what would happen to Ed because he is the very symbol of the human struggle and hope will die if he dies. It’s poetic, mesmerizing, and very entertaining. Harnessing Altruism is a beautiful work that will speak powerfully to the hearts of readers, a story about survival in a world that knows no mercy.

K.J. Simmill

Harnessing Altruism is a dystopian fiction novel written by Sava Buncic. The governments did their thing. They promoted their successes while brushing their failures under the carpet, keeping them quiet, away from the public eye as much as possible. But not everything can be kept a secret, especially something that impacts life itself. Groups had rallied, spoken about the warnings of global warming, the impact of the environment on resources. And they listened, from their comfortable chairs, cranking up the air-conditioning and pretending things weren't as bad as they seemed. They diverted the fickle minds of the public, pointing them elsewhere until it became too late. Agriculture was failing, energy almost depleted, and even if there was money to import supplies, every country suffered the same hardship. There was no chance of surplus, no plan of action, and people would soon learn what it truly meant to tighten their belts. This desperate situation brought about World Organization for Resource Management, or WORM for short. Things were no longer about the fate of an individual, but civilization, but at what cost, and do the ends justify the means?

Harnessing Altruism is a brilliant example of a dystopian world, one which could very easily portray our own future. One question came to mind throughout, is it really worth saving humanity if we sacrifice the very values that make us human? As a species we want to survive, we take from the land and ignore warnings about how much more it has to give. We think things will work out in the end. But they don't always. Sava Buncic opens a reader's eyes to a possible path of the future, one of micromanagement and categorisation based on worth, even the restriction of who can be allowed a child with whom. The world becomes divided into key personnel, developers, and doers, and never the twain should meet. Sava Buncic weaves a thought-provoking tale, with a cast of well-designed characters, in both main and supporting roles, who take you along on their journey into what could possibly be our own future. Wrought with imaginative ideas, solutions, and creativity, Harnessing Altruism is not a tale to be overlooked, and is certainly something that will leave you thinking.

Rabia Tanveer

Harnessing Altruism by Sava Buncic is the story of how survival takes humans down and brings them back to their basic instincts. This is a very raw story where our characters have to fight everything tooth and nail to get even the most basic things in life. The novel is set in the war torn world in the middle of the 21st century. Instead of giving up, the Turnbull family becomes resilient and fights to survive in poor living conditions. Living in camps is not easy; minimum food and water have made life even worse. In the midst of all that, our protagonist, Ed, will have to learn to live a life that is suitable for survival and enough to make him feel like a human. If he fights the cruel world and the system, he will be dead. However, if he does not resist he will lose every last bit of humanity he has preserved. He is living in a world of desperation, misery and a constant battle with the self and the inner demons. This is a cruel helpless world where everyone must do whatever it takes to survive. Can Ed keep his humanity intact or will he perish?

Harnessing Altruism by Sava Buncic is a very deep and intense novel that takes you to emotional highs and lows. This novel was psychologically thrilling; you will connect with the characters completely and irrevocably right from the beginning. You will hate and love so many for their flaws. I especially loved Ed for his genuine desire to stay close to his humanity in a world that believed in survival in its rawest form. This is definitely a thought provoking novel that was emotional and very well developed.