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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Book Review: The Ice Lion (The Rewilding Reports) by Kathleen O'Neal Gear

The Ice Lion (The Rewilding Reports)
by Kathleen O'Neal Gear
June 15, 2021
304 pages
DAW
This cli-fi novel from a notable archaeologist and anthropologist explores a frozen future where archaic species struggle to survive an apocalyptic Ice Age

One thousand years in the future, the zyme, a thick blanket of luminous green slime, covers the oceans. Glaciers three-miles-high rise over the continents. The old stories say that when the Jemen, godlike beings from the past, realized their efforts to halt global warming had gone terribly wrong, they made a desperate gamble to save life on earth and recreated species that had survived the worst of the earth's Ice Ages.

Sixteen-summers-old Lynx and his best friend Quiller are members of the Sealion People—archaic humans known as Denisovans. They live in a world growing colder, a world filled with monstrous predators that hunt them for food. When they flee to a new land, they meet a strange old man who impossibly seems to be the last of the Jemen. He tells Lynx the only way he can save his world is by sacrificing himself to the last true god, a quantum computer named Quancee.


Classified as cli-fi, this book's premise goes something like this: when the world was about to end, scientists mixed genes of hardy ice-age surviving animals and prehistoric humans to create new species that would be able to brave such a world. We follow two main characters on their journey to find themselves.

What I Didn't Like
Didn't find many scifi elements in a book that claims to be a cli-fi novel.

The protagonists are so unlikeable that it was really hard for me to connect to them or even keep reading about them. It might be just me but I'm so over reading about women running after men who are assholes while treating decent guys like trash!

The first time I read it, I found the description of the setting to be fascinating. However, reading the same thing over and over again got tiring pretty quickly.

What I Did Like
There's an authenticity to many of the things described in the book, such as:
  • The rise of the level of water in the oceans
  • The world divides itself into clans and tribes who are all struggling to survive in a harsh world
  • The natural evolution of superstitions to religion that dictates the lives of the characters in this book
  • I knew this was going to be the first book in a series going on. However, getting almost next to no information about why the world ended or how the new species were created and by whom didn't make for a satisfying conclusion.


Two sheep.





Reviewer: Midu Reads


About the Author:
Kathleen O'Neal Gear's professional life began at the Museum of Cultural History in Los Angeles where she was cataloguing three-hundred-year-old Guatemalan saint statues as part of her Ph.D. coursework. In 1980, she moved to Wyoming to work for the U.S. Department of the Interior as a historian and archaeologist, where she was twice awarded a "Special Achievement Award" for outstanding management of America's cultural heritage. She's authored or co-authored 50 novels and around 200 non-fiction articles. In 2015, the United States Congress honored her with a "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition" for her work as an American archaeologist and writer, and the California State Legislature passed Joint Member Resolution #117, saying, "The contributions of Kathleen Gear to the fields of history, archaeology, and writing have been invaluable." In 2019, her book MAZE MASTER, won the International Book Award for Best Science Fiction novel.

She's married to W. Michael Gear, archaeologist and novelist, and they live near Cody, Wyoming.

In 2021, Kathleen and Michael jointly received the Owen Wister Award for lifetime contributions to Western literature. They will be inducted into the Western Writers of America Hall of Fame, housed outside the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, in the summer of 2021.

For those who might be interested, here's a video taken at the World Heritage site, Cahokia: https://youtu.be/hhsovrQA9IY Hope you enjoy it.

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