War Bunny

Fiction - Fantasy - General
360 Pages
Reviewed on 08/04/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

In the tradition of long-form fables like Watership Down and Tarka the Otter, War Bunny by Christopher St. John is the tale of a deviant bunny that is really a tale about the human struggle in the form of animal characters. In this story, humans and many other animal species have become extinct. Surviving creatures refer to humans as Dead Gods. Barely six types of non-canids dwell at the Million Acre Wood. The carnivores, on the other hand, are known as the Blessed Ones—predators who claim a birthright. While all the rabbits unquestioningly accept their fate in what is called the Giving, a young rabbit named Anastasia dares to question her place in the grand scheme of things. She puts her warren in danger after escaping from the maw of a Blessed One and is banished by the Warren Mother. As a social species without any support group, she learns to develop self-defense tactics, and rabbits from other warrens soon forge an alliance with her. As the predators crave fresh meat, the rabbits are ready to challenge them to come and take it.

War Bunny is a highly imaginative look at the natural world with an element of fantasy. As a writer, Christopher St. John has a firm touch and an unaffected style that is packed with emotions toward the dwellers of Million Acre Wood. His control of pacing is admirable as there is never a dull moment. Even if animals take the place of human beings, the story uses vivid and dramatic excitement in its allegorical mantle. St. John doesn’t give us a story about rabbits as plain rabbits. Rather, we get a fable for all ages that explores the human condition and consciousness. Animals that talk and think like us is an idea that is easy to accept for what they represent, such as in the case of War Bunny, is larger than life. This is a spellbinding must-read that is a brilliant example of keen observation and passionate storytelling.

K.C. Finn

War Bunny is a work of fiction in the fantasy genre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by Christopher St. John. Set in a future world in which humans and many other predators have died out, rabbits have created a religion in which they must be eaten by one of the surviving predators. When the rabbit Anastasia questions this decree she is exiled from her warren and forced to fend for herself. But when she accidentally fends off a fox by wounding it with a stick, she begins a chain reaction that could change the balance of power in the forest forever.

This is a marvelous take on the fantasy genre with a very savvy decision to create a fantasy world by taking something that most people are familiar with in the form of the animal kingdom and the food chain and using that as the foundation for the lore of the world. People don’t need to have an in-depth explanation of why a rabbit would be fearful of a fox or wolf, and this means that Christopher St. John is able to avoid the usual preamble of slowly establishing the factions of his fantasy world and get straight to the characters and story. It’s an opportunity that he seizes with both hands in this gripping story of survival and social anarchy. War Bunny is an approachable book that moves past its almost child-friendly concept of animals at war to tell an engrossing and edge of your seat morality tale about rebelling against a power that doesn’t have your best interests at heart. I thoroughly recommend it to all.

Debjani Ghosh

In the not-so-distant future where humans are extinct, rabbits believe their God has instructed them to willingly surrender their lives to the predators, known as the Blessed. But Anastasia, a doe, refuses to accept this decree. So, the elders of her Warren exile her. She is vulnerable on her own but does not give up. Soon, other exiled creatures also join her, leading to a battle for freedom. Who will win - the prey or the predator? Read War Bunny by Christopher St. John to find out. War Bunny is an excellent book that is not only entertaining but also thought-provoking. A breathtaking chase scene at the start sets the tone for the entire book. It provides a mesmerizing portrayal of how the weak learn to fight and become strong. The more vulnerable animals have been brainwashed into believing that they should willingly sacrifice themselves to the predators. Those who don't obey this diktat are ostracized or, even worse, treated as mentally ill.

Author Christopher St. John presents an intelligent sketch of present-day society. Those who dare to question the status quo are silenced. The mighty don't like the weak fighting back, so they double down on them. Meanwhile, the weak aren't brave enough to toe the line, or hatch plots behind the scenes to bring down the fighters. War Bunny is a story of resilience, bravery, and keeping your wits together. Further, I adored Anastasia's character. At first, she is a reluctant fighter, but she finally accepts that fighting for your life even though you are a sweet rabbit is not wrong. That's life. I also loved the comradeship that develops among the animals that Anastasia accepts into her home. I heartily recommend War Bunny by Christopher St. John to teens and adults alike.

Ruffina Oserio

War Bunny by Christopher St. John is a post-apocalyptic novel brimming with symbolism. A perfect read for animal lovers, the plot serves as an allegory that brilliantly translates oppression and the struggle for freedom in the face of unjustified beliefs. In a world where humans and many other animal species are extinct, where human beings are referred to as Dead Gods by those that have survived the extinction, the Blessed Ones (carnivores) become predators with special rights. In the Million Acre Wood, a young rabbit called Anastasia puts her warren in danger when she refuses to comply with the Giving. Banished by her Warren Mother, she sets out to develop her survival and self-defense skills. Her act inspires others from different warrens, who might have been docile enough to surrender to their fate, but now join her in the struggle. Will the Blessed Ones dare to claim their lives for fresh meat?

War Bunny is a fascinating tale of a rebel rabbit who questions a long-standing tradition: why must rabbits surrender to a cruel fate in the belief that they are destined by Yah to glorify the Blessed Ones? She decides to change the status quo, her single act of rebellion inspiring others like her to fight for freedom and dignity. While this is an engaging tale about animals, it has timeless lessons for humans, exploring themes of senseless sacrifice, blind faith, and fanaticism. This is a story that warns about beliefs without scientific and rational foundations. The story is told with unusual fluidity, in prose that is enticing, and the characters are well-explored so that readers can identify with Anastasia and the others. The dialogues are well-written and they reflect a world that humans can easily navigate. Christopher St. John's narrative has huge doses of humor and it is a hilarious journey to follow characters like Throat Punch, Death Rage, and Moody Loner and the banter they indulge in. Other interesting characters are Love Bug and Bricabrac. War Bunny is filled with adventure, a story with impeccable world-building, and a social conflict that is intelligently written.

Divine Zape

Christopher St. John’s novel War Bunny is set in an imaginary, dystopian world in the distant future. Humanity and most other species are extinct. In this world, the surviving animals refer to humans as the Dead Gods. But this is not a just world because the predators, carnivorous animals known as the Blessed Ones, have a unique privilege: they can feed on other animals like rats, rabbits, squirrels, and so forth as they please. Everyone believes that “Yah” has ordained that it should be so, and the rabbits comply with what is called the Giving, an act in which the prey submissively gives in to satisfy the hunger of the predator. It is against this backdrop that a bunny named Anastasia becomes rebellious, exiled by her Warren Mother after defying what is considered by many to be a natural law. She is soon joined by other animals from different warrens who rebel against the system. Without their compliance with the Giving, can the Predators survive?

War Bunny is a beautifully penned story of a world inhabited by animals, but it is one that humans can immediately relate to. The lines of privilege and freedom are clearly defined in this book and readers explore a group in the society that exploits other groups. While the preyed-upon think it is normal, a bunny uses her inner freedom and questions what everyone believes. Anastasia’s journey, and how it inspires others like her, is one that happens very often in human society. We have beliefs that we daren’t question and, at times, we bear the bitter consequences of such beliefs. The writing in War Bunny is exquisitely good, littered with beautiful descriptions and emotionally rich passages. The characters are well-written and Christopher St. John does a great job of crafting traits in these characters that make them hilarious and endearing to follow. War Bunny is a well-plotted and intelligently accomplished fable that dares readers to rethink some of the traditions they have grown up with. It is deftly crafted and intensely enjoyable, replete with drama and breathtaking scenes.