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Mort(e) by Robert Repino
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Mort(e) (2015)

by Robert Repino

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: War With No Name (book 1)

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2802058,410 (3.65)12
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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
So much good writing, so little continuity of worldbuilding; such a welcome divergence from animals always being fable characters, so little truly fresh horror in the science/religion antipathy to which the plot devolves. Several characters became richly memorable, and the actual chemical trick pulled off at the end of a regime (no spoiling) was clever, but how the characters got to where they were? How the wildly different communication methods of two major groups got "translated"? The author almost succeeded in maintaining a mood of gritty realism, but the wimpy science ended up killing the mood. So, dear author, write us a story about characters, pull maybe one or two fantastic elements into the story if you like, but give us more dialogue and more almost-tacit, yet evocative scenes. The kind in which you draw the reader's emotional response first and maybe explain later, or not. Sebastian not understanding Sheba's hesitation to explore, when he thought he was giving her everything. Culdesac's climactic moment. Michael's nurse. The flabbergasted real estate agent driven to beg over a few words in magic marker. Mort(e) telling a roomful of retroactive mythologers never to call him by his old name again. Wawa fighting her urge not to treat the young in the RP like pack. Those were the scenes I celebrated, and they were by far the strength of the book. ( )
  Nialle | Oct 8, 2018 |
Interesting premise but falls flat at times. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
I stumbled onto Mort(e) at my local library, attracted by the striking cover portrait of Mort(e). Animals are transformed into speaking creatures with opposable thumbs, and a war with humans results (The War with No Name). Both humans and animals are portrayed in a very realistic manner. Repino understands cats and soldiers, despite, apparently, being neither.
I usually prefer hard science fiction, where the science and tech are made believable. Repino doesn’t bother much with that part of the story, but his storytelling and characters made this a memorable read.
Sebastian is a neutered and declawed housecat when the Change occurs. Despite his disabilities, his exploits lead to him becoming known as Sebastian the Warrior. He becomes a special ops trooper with the Red Sphinx, an all feline unit. This is a perfect touch. If I were recruiting intelligent animal commandos, I know two feral cat colonies where I would start. Sebastian adopts the nom de guerre Mort(e), illustrating both his sardonic sense of humor and erudition, and Repino’s playful use of French.
Mort(e) is the best feline character in fiction. Mort(e)’s story continues in D’Arc , and they should be read in order. Culdesac is a novella that should be read after Mort(e), but not necessarily before D’Arc.
Culdesac is the bobcat who commands Red Sphinx. Mort(e) is only a minor character in this work, but Nox is the second best feline character in fiction. Don’t miss her. ( )
  WaltNoise | Jan 13, 2018 |
This book is on a lot of "best of" lists but I just couldn't warm up to it.
To me, the pacing was inconsistent and the characterizations and character motivations started to fizzle in the middle of the book.

It was ok, just not something I would consider a favourite. ( )
  MsMaison | Dec 5, 2017 |
A colleague thought I might enjoy this book, because of the cat 'hero', I think, and I certainly love the cover - but the story did nothing for me. For a start, I don't think cats would want to become like humans - walking on two legs and having hands instead of paws, and resorting to guns from the minute they gain opposable thumbs. They're just smarter than that, and already hold people in disdain. Don't get me wrong - 'owners' of animals who lock dogs in cages and train them to fight each other or declaw cats (what the hell is that practice about?) deserve to face the kind of poetic justice imagined here, but I think cats would handle the situation with more style and dignity.

Anyway. For some unspecified reason, ants develop a way of mutating household pets and other animals into fighting machines, who then turn on humans and 'purge' them (which, together with the 'Archon' character reminded me of a Star Trek episode) from the face of the earth. Mort(e) - a cat formerly named Sebastian - takes on the ants to find his best friend, a dog named Sheba. Various heavy-handed messages about love being stronger than religion, or whatever, are thrown in for good measure. Basically, this is Animal Farm written by Stephen King. Great if that's your kind of thing, and very clever, but I kept falling asleep and took a week to finish. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jun 9, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Repinoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Agro, JanineDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chung, SamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chung, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ng, KapoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a fool of me! I wish I had a sword in my hand! I would kill you irhgt now!" But the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey, which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I been in the habit of treating you this way?" And he said, "No." Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed down, falling on his face ...

--Numbers 22:28-31
God is love, they once said, but we reversed that . . .

--Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
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For my family,

and my families
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"The 'war with no name' has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, [has] been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Under the Colony's watchful eye, this utopia will be free of the humans' penchant for violence, exploitation, and religious superstition. The final step in the Colony's war effort is transforming the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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