Sentient Rising

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/13/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Sentient Rising is a work of fiction in the science fiction, adventure, and sociocultural issues subgenres, and it forms the second novel in the Sentient Trilogy. Penned by author Jay VanLandingham, it is intended for young adult readers but can be thoroughly enjoyed by adults too. This gripping eco-dystopian novel dives deep into the world of agribusiness secrets and the ethical dilemmas surrounding animal agriculture for an intense and thought-provoking story. We follow central figure Bray Hoffman as she navigates tricky relationships and new alliances in order to topple corporations as she continues to hone her unusual gift of hearing animals in distress.

Author Jay VanLandingham has crafted a thrilling and emotionally charged reading experience that blends suspenseful storytelling with thought-provoking themes. The characters, especially our compelling and emotive central figure, Bray, are well-developed and relatable, making it easy to become emotionally invested in their journey. The ethical questions raised in this book about animal rights, genetic experimentation, and corporate corruption add layers of complexity to the plot and the heroes' mission to expose the truth becomes increasingly perilous, but also more meaningful as a result. What struck me most about this book is its ability to tackle important and often overlooked issues related to the treatment of animals in agriculture while also delivering a fast-paced and action-packed narrative. It serves as a wake-up call, urging readers to consider the consequences of their choices and the impact of large corporations on our environment. Overall, Sentient Rising is a highly recommended read but also a call to action. It's a story that stays with you long after you've turned the last page, leaving you with a renewed sense of responsibility toward our planet and its inhabitants.

Demetria Head

Sentient Rising by Jay VanLandingham is a gripping and thought-provoking eco-dystopian novel that delves into the urgent and morally complex issues surrounding agribusiness, animal rights, and corporate corruption. In this second installment of the series, readers are taken through a thrilling narrative that explores the profound connection between humans and animals, the consequences of genetic experimentation, and the relentless fight for justice. At the heart of the story is Bray Hoffman, a young heroine grappling with the loss of her best friends and her extraordinary gift of communicating with animals in distress. As she seeks solace on a hidden Wyoming farm, her ability resurfaces, and she becomes aware of Rhea, a cow that has achieved human-like awareness due to genetic experimentation and now cries out for help. The revelation of a secret S-Corp laboratory that imprisons animals becomes a catalyst for Bray to join forces with old and new friends, including Bertan, who shares her passion for dismantling the corrupt corporation.

Jay VanLandingham's storytelling is both compelling and thought-provoking, immersing readers in a world where the boundaries between humanity and the animal kingdom blur. The ethical dilemmas and moral questions raised throughout the narrative are both timely and deeply resonant, challenging readers to confront the consequences of unchecked corporate power and environmental degradation. The action-packed plot is driven by the unwavering determination of the role-players to expose S-Corp's secrets and force society to confront the horrors of animal exploitation through multi-sensory implants. As the story unfolds, the stakes escalate, and the nation faces increasing devastation, leading to a thrilling and suspenseful climax that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Sentient Rising is not only a thrilling eco-dystopian novel but also a call to action - a reminder of the urgent need to address the ethical and environmental challenges posed by agribusiness and corporate greed. With skillful storytelling and rich character development, it makes this a must-read for fans of thought-provoking dystopian fiction and anyone concerned with the future of our planet.

David Korson

Sentient Rising by Jay VanLandingham is a young adult sci-fi story with prominent themes of animal rights and activism. Bray Hoffman has a special gift, one that few people possess. She can communicate telepathically with animals and channel their emotions. However, in a world where animals are regularly slaughtered and used for scientific experiments, this unique ability can feel like a curse. When Bray begins to hear the voice of Rhea, a cow who has become self-aware, she feels compelled to play a pivotal role in the animal liberation movement. Rhea’s days are numbered and Bray will need to act decisively. Fortunately, she has friends by her side, compassion as a guide, and even a couple of allies on the inside.

Jay VanLandingham offers a fresh take on a genre that often features repetitious plotlines. Besides some conventional aspects of a dystopian future, such as genetic experimentation and a far-reaching conspiracy, the concept of sentient animals and their plight is a theme that gives readers pause for thought. The characters, many of whom are animal activists in hiding, are distinct and memorable, and Bray’s extraordinary connection with animals kept me intrigued. As Bray concocted an audacious plan to convey the suffering of animals to the populace, I found myself glued to the pages to see how events would transpire. If you enjoy well-developed dystopian fiction, but especially if you have an interest in animal welfare or the role of the livestock industry in climate change, you’ll find Sentient Rising to be an engrossing read.