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Reviewed by Nicholus Schroeder for Readers' Favorite
Antuna’s Story: The Antunite Chronicles Book One is a sci-fi novel by Terry Birdgenaw. Set millions of years ago, when dinosaurs walked the Earth and giant sea creatures swam the oceans’ depths this story is about the displacement of a few animals to a distant planet and their new life there. But this isn't about the largest or strongest from the animal kingdom trying to survive on a foreign planet; the animals that were teleported are primarily from the insect kingdom. Antuna, an ant, makes new friends moments after the teleportation incident. The unlikely pairing of a spider, termite, ant, and more proves that all manner of insects and arachnids can co-exist on their strange planet. Tensions between groups of the tight-knit community begin to rise, however, as old grudges and instincts resurface. The line between friend and foe blurs and those at the top of the food chain are in for a rude awakening as some species are evolving at alarming rates in both intelligence and cunning. This is Antuna’s story, a tale of how these different species came together to build a civilization and how they tore it down.
What a read. At first glance, I thought this would be a mildly entertaining book as it’s about insects and I believed that having bugs as the characters would lose its uniqueness and get boring. I was wrong as the characters were written, dare I say, better than characters of the human variety. There's just much more at stake for them and Terry Birdgenaw demonstrated that in their development and his writing. The character Spifry may have proven himself to be trustworthy, but other characters still have their innate fear of the arachnid despite their newfound friendship. The plot also cleverly weaves in the typical behavior of these insects and that made the whole book more immersive and grounded for me. The pacing was just right and I loved how their civilization steadily grew as I read, as opposed to major changes between chapters. The steady pacing really drove home the impact of the book’s final acts. Overall, a great read. It’s fresh and interesting. I wholeheartedly recommend Antuna’s Story: The Antunite Chronicles Book One to fans of the sci-fi genre.