Sebastian is a normal house cat living his cat life. His human is having an affair with the neighbor and the neighbor brings his dog Sheba over, allowing Sebastian to strike up a loving relationship with Sheba. Sebastian is content with his life with Sheba and he quickly grows to love her and cherish their time together.
Meanwhile, the ants have had it and have started their war with the humans. The ants have made it so the animals on the planet can walk upright, talk, think, and act like a human would. The ants have made an army of their own super-sized ants as well as an army of the animals in the world. The animals, with their new-found abilities, are super soldiers who seem to revel in taking down their former oppressors with no regret. The humans fight back by using a bio-weapon name EMSAH. Who will this battle – the animals/insects or the humans? Are the animals any better off living their new ways of life?
So goes the bat-shit crazy concept behind Mort(e) by Robert Repino. Ants lead the rebellion along with humanized animals to obliterate the humans on the planet. However, bat-shit crazy isn’t how this book really plays out. It has very somber tones and a reluctant hero in Mort(e), f/k/a Sebastian. Sebastian eventually gets rid of his “slave” name, taking Mort(e) as his new world name. All Mort(e) really cares about is trying to find his friend Sheba. Sheba went missing shortly after the animals started their transformations and Mort(e) has no idea where she went. Mort(e) eventually becomes part of a militia, where he achieves legendary status in the war against the humans. Mort(e) doesn’t really care about this. He’s like someone who is really good at a job they hate – it comes natural to them and, damn are they good, but they have something they’d much rather be doing. For Mort(e) that’s finding Sheba.
As mentioned before, this book is a bit on the somber side. The fellow soldiers that Mort(e) comes to know mostly have bleak memories of their time before and their stories are sad reflections of how some humans can treat animals. This adds to the sad tone of the book. It’s not a depressing book, just has an overall sadness to it. The cause behind the bio-weapon EMSAH takes the book in a direction I wasn’t quite expecting, but Mort(e) stays true to himself and his cause – finding Sheba. Overall a good book. A every unique concept that gets a little off track when dealing with the EMSAH virus, but well worth the read.