Need to Want

Fiction - Science Fiction
348 Pages
Reviewed on 10/06/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Steven Robson for Readers' Favorite

Sava Buncic’s Need to Want lays bare humanity’s unrelenting and ageless dance with nature, where survival is woven into the fabric of natural resources upon which we live or die. In a far distant future, the sun burns with a ferociousness that drives all living creatures into protected shelters, unable to negotiate its intensity for any significant period of time. When a handful of adults and children arrive on an unknown island, after fleeing from a world leached of any possible future by overutilization and climate change, a new societal microcosm takes shape and begins anew. Will this reborn community learn from their past or follow what may be inherently contained within all of us; a path to crave more than we need? A Need to Want.

Need to Want by Sava Buncic is an extremely thought-provoking and, in some ways, disturbing read. As I progressed through the story arc, there were many times when I found myself torn between viewpoints, and I still cannot say with certainty that I would have chosen the right path to follow, even having the hindsight I now possess. These philosophical issues are what humanity has grappled with for our entire existence, and Need to Want brings them into crystal clarity. The characters striving to preserve our future are all very real, and their experiences are not only interesting but fully engaging, drawing you into their adventures and subjecting you to extremes of both joy and heartbreak. I found this to be a very stimulating and emotionally invigorating read.

K.C. Finn

Need To Want is a work of science fiction written for adults, and was penned by author Sava Buncic. Told through the lives of a fictional family living in basic means, the novel explores why we, as human beings, seek more and more out of life when our basic needs can all be met by living simply among nature. As our small group of people, perhaps the last on earth, live out their simple lives, the question of continuation and redevelopment of the human race hangs in the air. Social commentary is made through observations by Bruce and his family, making poignant remarks on human greed and its destructive capabilities.

Author Sava Buncic has produced a unique thinking piece within this novel, which captures a snapshot that is both simplistic and utopic, but also tragic and poignant at the same time. Getting swept up in the lives of Bruce, Matron, Greg, Frida and their children on their small island allows us to experience life with all the hardships which modern convenience has eliminated in today's privileged world, which I think shines a light on the developing world of today. It is a twisted mirror through which to view the world. The narration is sometimes a little clunky in the storytelling, but overall the reading experience is highly worthwhile for the talking points it brings, and for Buncic’s gorgeous descriptive talents when scene setting. Overall, Need To Want is an involved work of science fiction and speculative consideration that is well worth a read.

Rabia Tanveer

Need to Want by Sava Buncic is a story of survival in a time when right and wrong come secondary to desperate needs. Who would have thought there would be very little edible resources left, human life on the brink of extinction and nothing can be done to right this. Bruce, Matron, Greg, and Frida are living in a time and place when Earth has been depleted of its resources and humanity has been reduced to living in caves just to survive the harsh environment. Living together in a colony of sorts, these four people are trying to offer the best to their children, teaching them what they know of their new environment so that they can survive once their parents are gone. In this tussle between need and want, the humans are trying to live by night and stay protected by day. But is this living worth it?

Need to Want by Sava Buncic is an eye-opener, one that will make you think twice before you misuse a natural resource. The future Sava Buncic shares is scary because I can clearly see it happening. Once we have taken all of the gifts Earth has to offer, we are going to run dry and have to resort to living in caves and eating roaches and mice. I have never read such a vivid dystopian story ever in my life. The author creates an environment and atmosphere of desolate existence where everything is a struggle and every day is a fight for survival. The multiple points of view make the story rich; it allows readers to find little glimpses of their own personalities in the characters that they support. The narrative is fast enough to keep your mind attentive yet powerful enough to leave an impact.

Lesley Jones

In Need to Want by Sava Buncic, Bruce and his family are the only known survivors on a remote island. The family is determined to achieve civilization once more, making sure that all the rules set out by The Master are adhered to. However, as their numbers grow, they struggle to agree on serious issues such as maintaining their environment, preserving the food chain and the use of technology so the planet can be enjoyed by future generations. Nature has destroyed the human race once to ensure its survival. Now Bruce and his family have been given a second chance, will they learn from past mistakes? Or is it inevitable that the human race will destroy the planet because they are intrinsically led by their egos, beliefs, and values?

The plot of this well-written story was exceptionally interesting and thought-provoking. The situations Bruce and his family found themselves in were relevant to the issues we are facing today such as pollution, eradication of species of animals and climate change. I couldn't help but compare the situations of the characters with the biblical story of Noah and how God destroyed the planet as a form of punishment. I had an overwhelming sense of frustration with the human race as I read this story. I wanted Bruce and his family to learn from past mistakes but as the story unfolded I could see history repeating itself. Need to Want by Sava Buncic raises the important question of why we set out to destroy nature when it has been created so perfectly. The author did make a vital point at the end which I totally agree with. Do we really deserve a place on this planet?

Asher Syed

Need to Want by Sava Buncic is a literary eco-fiction novel that follows a group who lives wholly outside and away from the mainland, following the purported worldwide obliteration of humanity. Initially, the tiny group lives in a strict and sustainable simplicity, making a home out of a barren cave and eating only what nature—or, the Master, depending on whom you ask—provides in abundance. The first generation of the group set the precedent for how a balanced survival must occur, and the second generation holds dear to the wisdom of their parents, but their children are struggling, particularly when they get their first taste of protein not from rats and insects. The more they are able to get, the more they desire...even at the cost of a fragile natural balance that the elders warned about for decades.

Need to Want is a timely and interesting story, and Sava Buncic does an excellent job creating a world of isolation. In laying out the big picture for the plot itself, Buncic provides all the details the group experiences as survivalists down to the minutiae of everyday living. I loved the quasi-coexistence of prehistoric, stone age subsistence with whatever modern wares happened to wash up on shore. I found the character development to be decent, however, at times the narrative and dialogue undermined this (ie: when the younger group members found out they were the last people on earth). That said, the story is well told and there are some excellent surprises that surface. All of this comes wrapped up in a unique and engrossing dystopian plot. Recommended.