The review from BookLife by Publishers Weekly of War Bunny just came out. It’s such an honor to even be mentioned in the same breath as Richard Adams and Watership Down!
“A bunny decides she’s had enough and dares to shake up the natural order in St. John’s unusual and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic debut. In a far-future world where humans are gone and animals thrive, Anastasia the bunny is different from the other rabbits—she asks questions about their god, Yah, and why, if he loves the rabbits, Yah would expect them to be “Glorified” by the “Blessed”–which means eaten by predators. Considered mentally ill and dangerous to the warren, she’s kicked out. After successfully repulsing a fox on the prowl, Anastasia has an awakening that leads to a revolution: maybe Yah’s on board with bunnies fighting back.
Going beyond simply telling a story, St. John dives into the dangers of blind faith and how societies react when someone questions shared beliefs. Anastasia’s internal turmoil is palpable as she tries to find a balance between Yah’s love and his apparent intent that rabbits be eaten. Gathering information from the “Readers” and “Rememberers” in charge of interpreting books and history from the Dead Gods (humans), along with Yah’s writings, Anastasia makes her own interpretation, concluding that defense should be acceptable as long as none of the Blessed are killed. The other rabbits’ responses range from fear of heresy to the conviction that she’s their savior.
St. John also spotlights the treatment of those who are different. Once Anastasia is kicked out, her only goal is survival and to dig a safe burrow for herself, but when word about her actions gets out, other ostracized bunnies come searching for safety. Although building a new warren is not her intention, she never turns anyone away–including mice and squirrels– and draws out the strength in each to help defend the warren as a new family. Although readers will be left with questions at the end, the journey and lessons getting there will be worth it.
Takeaway: This post-apocalyptic rabbit tale of daring to question society is tougher and more creative than most animal fiction.
Great for fans of Richard Adams’s Watership Down and David Petersen’s Mouse Guard.” – BookLife by Publishers Weekly