Fleeing the last Ant-War, Anna of Evergreen goes with a party of Foresters, Men, and Ants to seek sanctuary on an island. None of them are ever seen again.
Twenty years later, the launch of the Muriel, the first steel-hulled, powered ship built since ancient times, offers Anna’s friends a chance to discover what happened to the lost colonists—if they can persuade River, the Muriel’s designer, to lead an expedition to find her. Exiled from the forest, estranged from his family, and crippled by rage and guilt, River agrees to the plan. Not only was Anna his first love, but the journey, he believes, will provide an exciting new distraction from his pain.
It’s the adventure of River’s life, but when the voyage proves longer and more perilous than anyone anticipated, he finds he’s brought all his old problems along with him on the journey—and in the middle of the ocean, there is no further place for him to run. The struggle to survive reveals River’s limitations, but also his strengths, and with this new self-knowledge, River reassesses his life. The Muriel may provide a whole new life-purpose for him—but is he up to the challenge?
The second book in the Antlands series, Annasland is an adventure novel that explores themes of prejudice and hate, love, loss and redemption in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Plot: The second book in The Antlands Series, Annasland is set in a futuristic world of speculative evolution reminiscent of H.G Wells's The Time Machine. In this post-apocalyptic world, this adventure novel takes the reader on a seafaring quest to find a lost ship and its crew. Though the goal is a physical destination, the journey is one of self-realization and redemption.
Prose: Morrissey is masterful in her usage of nuanced dialogue that both reflects the purported time period and helps further characterizations.
Originality: The Antlands series shines as a unique work of plausible dystopia. The Ants and their interactions with a divided human race examines ideas of the ubiquitous and irrational nature of prejudice in society.
Character/Execution: River’s character development is an exciting and heart-wrenching journey to watch. He comes to life as the reader sees his demons and regrets shape his interactions with his family and the Muriel crew.
Date Submitted: July 02, 2021