The Bees: A Novel
Title: The Bees: A Novel
Author: Laline Paull
“Yes, these are actual bees. Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, newly born to the hive and lowest of the low. Visually, she’s different than her sisters, and she has an inquisitive mind to match. But being too curious in a place of extreme order can have consequences, and those below the Queen are hiding secrets. This dystopian mash-up of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Watership Down’ was an interesting and fresh read. The hive hierarchies and harsh conditions make for an intriguing rebellion and fight-to-the-death. You’ll never look at bees the same way again.”
—Kelly at KDL’s Cascade Township Branch
“Told from the perspective of a worker bee as she defies the strict laws of the Queen’s regime and the hivemind, this novel is a unique blend of Cinderella and insectoid alien sci-fi. This read will give anyone a bit more empathy for our local bee- friends.”
—Rachel at KDL’s Service Center
The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.
Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.
But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.
Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.