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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
As far as alien invasion themes are concerned, The Barkuu: Dawn of a Species by Lauren Wright has a nightmarish premise. This is a story that plays with your paranoid fantasies about ranking low in the order of species. Maybe we should give aliens a chance to take over and see how they will manage the planet? But Wright doesn’t paint it as idyllic. Here we have an ancient race of beings called the Barkuu that decide to take the planet and reconfigure it according to their wants and needs. This drives humanity to seek refuge in forests as the Barkuu raze human civilization to the ground. Centuries pass and you become witness to a new world where humans are hunted for food or treated as livestock. It becomes a huge question of survival for humanity. Will they forever accept their fate as food for the apex species, or will they find a way to rise up and reclaim their right as the true children of Earth?
The Barkuu is clear about its plot with an assortment of characters that you may well find a strong connection to. It stays with its chilling storyline all the way to the end. Lauren Wright could have written it differently, such as for aliens to invade by terra-forming the planet slowly without our knowledge before they move in. But she chooses to let the Barkuu arrive in such a way that they cleanse the planet with very little warning. This idea is what sustains the narrative with drama as the Barkuu want nothing to do with diplomacy and are simply firm in their resolve to get what they want. But given the current situation that the world is in, Wright effectively gives her aliens a reason to take over and use us for their consumption. It is shocking but it is also a demonstration of the strong human spirit. It will appeal to anyone who has a taste for fast-paced, well-written, dystopian science fiction.