Pig

Book 1

Fiction - Science Fiction
360 Pages
Reviewed on 11/24/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bryone Peters for Readers' Favorite

Pig by J. N. Johnson is fictional writing at its best. The protagonist, Dando, thinks that she has finally gone insane when she discovers a strange silver panel in the glove box of her Volvo car. Everything that went into the glove box gets sucked in and disappears. After she went on a solitary hike in the woods, things took a dramatic turn. A starved black bear tries to eat her alive after hunting her down. She narrowly escapes twice. The first time is through wit and sheer luck. The second time, she manages to escape by allowing herself to get sucked into the Volvo's mysterious glove box. Following this, things get even more interesting because the silver panel turns out to be a portal to an alien world.

Pig by J. N. Johnson is bound to be a bestseller. The dialogue is frequently quirky and works well with the action in this creative and clever plot. At Apastron refugee space station, the protagonist, Dando, gets to know some crazy alien characters. Dando’s internal dialogue toward the aliens is often hilarious. Her interaction with the human characters is no less entertaining, for example, the nameless character she calls Sour Brows. Dando’s escape in the scene where a ravenous bear hunts and attacks her is stunningly described but eerie as it takes place in a world where animals were deemed extinct for years. The twists caught me completely off-guard and left my head spinning with awe. I would enthusiastically recommend this funny, existential, alien-probing, action-packed book!

Vincent Dublado

Pig is the first book in the Dando Deverell Trilogy by J. N. Johnson. In this story, extinct has become a household word, and with good reason. All edible animals have been eaten to the point of extermination. Dando and her classmates can only look back at Earth’s zoological wonders through documentation in film and other media. What Dando least expects to happen in a world lacking fauna is getting accidentally teleported into an alien space station. She is their sixth attempt and the first teleportation success using the alien’s outdated technology, with five previous humans being reduced to bloody piles of goop. Here she discovers that all the animals in her childhood fantasies are alive, including pigs, her favorite, and that they are being relocated to new home planets for their conservation. The aliens have no plans to send her back home. While she will miss her sister greatly, she will have to go on a mission to save pigs because she loves them more.

Pig is a beguiling and fascinating sci-fi story. From start to finish, it moves you in a way that you least expect. Considering the world’s increasing population, it is feasible that all edible animals could become extinct in the far distant future. That is something that J.N. Johnson gives you to contemplate while reading this story. Similarly, there is a great dynamic to Dando’s relationship with her sister. You understand why Dando is acerbic at times, which makes her inclined to use cuss words because it’s never easy to live in a world that has depleted its animal resources. Dando is a flawed but interesting character, a young, cynical philosopher who has a transformative, out-of-this-world experience. The plot freely commits to the style of speculative fiction, where attention is focused on the message it seeks to convey. It’s a must-read for sci-fi buffs.

Essien Asian

In a timeline far into the future, Earth has changed and all animals are extinct. It appears all the human harvesting of wildlife without adequate attempts to replenish their numbers resulted in a scenario where meat was no longer readily available for the dinner tables. For Dando, her principal regret is that she will not have the opportunity to own a pet. Her mother's disappearance forced her and her sister, Eva, to fend for themselves as best they could. On a hiking trip through the bushes, she is abducted by aliens and taken to their planet where she learns from her captors that all is not as it seems. Will she be able to escape this strange world with its weird inhabitants and make her way back home to Eva? In J.N. Johnson's Pig: Book 1, only time will tell.

Pig by J.N. Johnson is, to put it simply, science-fiction storytelling at its finest. The storyline takes every idea you consider standard and tosses it out the window, leaving the most outlandish of possibilities before you. The attention to detail with the characters is impressive, while their motives are evident in their actions. The interaction between the characters is smooth and laced with humor, and Dando's escapade with "Donald the rapist" is hilarious, to say the least. Profanity aside, this is one book that would appeal to all ages. It is an entertaining story with a warning to humanity to value what they have while it is still available.

K.C. Finn

Pig: Book 1 is a work of fiction in the speculative and science fiction subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience owing to scenes of violence, sexual content, and some sensitive subject matter including animal abuse and gore, and was penned by J. N. Johnson. In this interesting animal-focused work, we find ourselves in a not-too-distant future where the planet’s animals have been hunted and eaten into extinction, but our protagonist Dando discovers an extraplanetary sanctuary for rescued animals when she is abducted by aliens. Getting away from her captors and back to her sister is priority number one until Dando discovers a vital rescue mission for the other true love of her life: pigs.

J. N. Johnson has crafted a fascinating concept with this plant-conscious work of science fiction that examines the darker side of human nature. At the same time, there’s a tense action plot that is masterfully played out as Dando navigates a terrifying alien threat and attempts to figure out a path of escape. There are some daring moments and the action sequences are well-paced and filled with cinematic-style description that brings each scene to life. I especially enjoyed the presentation of the alien species and their dry bureaucratic nature, which put a fresh and whimsical spin on the genre but also still maintained a sinister undertone. I would certainly recommend Pig to science fiction readers seeking something new and challenging to wrap their minds around.