sábado, 6 de mayo de 2017

Reseña: Prophets of the Ghost Ants (Antasy #1)

+Digital copy gently provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review+


Clark Thomas Carlton

608 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Harper Voyager Impulse (first published June 17th 2011)
ISBN:0062429752 (ISBN13: 9780062429759)
Languaje: English

BLURB: Both familiar and fantastic, Clark T. Carlton’s Prophets of the Ghost Ants explores a world in which food, weapons, clothing, art—even religious beliefs—are derived from Humankind’s profound intertwining with the insect world. 
In a savage landscape where humans have evolved to the size of insects, they cannot hope to dominate. Ceaselessly, humans are stalked by night wasps, lair spiders, and marauder fleas. And just as sinister, men are still men. Corrupt elites ruthlessly enforce a rigid caste system. Duplicitous clergymen and power-mongering royalty wage pointless wars for their own glory. Fantasies of a better life and a better world serve only to torment those who dare to dream. 

One so tormented is a half-breed slave named Anand, a dung-collector who has known nothing but squalor and abuse. Anand wants to lead his people against a genocidal army who fight atop fearsome, translucent Ghost Ants. But to his horror, Anand learns this merciless enemy is led by someone from his own family: a religious zealot bent on the conversion of all non-believers . . . or their extermination.

A mix of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow of the Apt, Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor, and Phillip Pullman’s Golden Compass, this is a powerful new addition to the genre.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

{Note: If you are squeamish about bugs and eating bugs, this is so not your book ;P}

Este es uno de esos libros que resulta algo dificil de encasillar dentro de un sólo género, parte diciendo que un meteorito cayó en la tierra y desaparecio la civilización, dejando sólo bichos gigantes y los humanos se achicaron. No. No es broma. Ahora si dejamos de lado la parte en que hay que creer que todos los mamiferos desaparecieron dejando solamente seres humanos ... es bastante entretenido. Por eso es que a algunas personas les parece que esto tal vez tendria mayor sentido si fuera en un planeta ajeno a la tierra. Y claro, después en lo que avanza la historia nos encontramos con una fantasía heroica en la que sólo esta ausente la magia.

Bueno, los diminutos humanos han sobrevivido atando sus vidas a los grandes insectos organizados. Relación simbiótica, domesticación, parasitismo todo ello cabe aqui.

Los humanos han establecido todo un panteon de dioses: hormiga, abeja, cucaracha, mantis, langosta, termita, etc. Su cultura esta entrelazada y basado en sus vidas, y una estratificación social rígida con reinas , sacerdotes, soldados y esclavos. No hay tecnologia, y la sociedad es una suerte de despotismo/hierocracia . La casta alta son de piel 'clara y amarilla'.

Anand , el protagonista, es un muchacho de la casta más baja dentro de los Slopeites, y es fácil identificarlo con la casta de los intocables que continua cargando excrementos hoy en dia. Esta 'contaminado' y , horror, su piel es oscura. Su cultura adora a la Reina Hormiga de los cortadores de hojas.

Anand no tiene super poder ni nada parecido, pero cuenta con una visión diferente del mundo del resto de su casta porque su madre es una Britasyte, la gente de las cucarachas (que son una especie de gitanos vagabundos que actuan como mercaderes ), quien le ha enseñado habilidades diferentes a agachar la cabeza mientras recoge excremento y desmembra cadaveres. Él esta esperando cumplir 16 para dejar de pertenecer a los Slopeites e irse con los Britasytes.
“Boy of Two Tribes, do you know why you were named ‘Anand’?”
Anand looked at his mother. “No,” he said. “Anand means ‘worker’ in the Slopeish tongue.”
“But in our old tongue it means something else,” said Zedral. “It means ‘spanner,’ a link between two worlds, like the bridge that runs through the Tar Marsh to the Dustlands.”
Pero cuando es parte de los obligados a partir para formar una nueva colonia en el norte, es cuando se expande aun más su vision del mundo al encontrarse con una cultura totalmente diferente: los Dranverites (a quien sigo pensando como 'Colores de Benatton'), que son una especie de utopia democrática.

Mientras tanto, desde el sur los Hulkrites (adoradores de Hulkro, dios Termita) han decidido expander su santa palabra contra los infieles. Ellos me recuerdan a esos tipos de la última pelicula Mad Max, incluso se pintan de blanco.

¿¿Que hara ahora Anand con todo lo aprendido?? /SPOILER-->No se porque, pero en muchos momentos me recuerda al protagonista de No Caigan las Tinieblas, tratando por todos los medios que las cosas salgan a su modo, mientras que el resto 'se arranca con los tarros', y actua en contra de lo que el esta tratando de hacer para mejorar sus vidas. Arrastrar a toda una sociedad esclavizada a hacer algo contrario a todo lo que han creido toda su vida es mucho más dificil de lo que vive este muchacho que aun no llega a los 21 segun mis cuentas.<---SPOILER/

Pese a que este llega a una conclusion, se ve claramente que queda muuucho por hacer, a la par de varias cosas pendientes cofPlekoocof.

“You’ll need to make your own red ink,” said Dwan, “and add a couple of drops of your own blood.”
“Blood? Why?” Anand asked.
“Because our history is a bloody one.”
Tremendo trabajo en estudio de los insectos, sobre todo las hormigas, señales transmisoras por aromas, hormonas, y todo eso.
I stay up until 5 am for two days just to keep reading this book.

This is one of those books that is difficult to classify within a single genre, part saying that a meteorite fell on the earth and civilization disappeared, leaving only giant bugs and humans shrank. No, it's not a joke. Now if we put aside the part where we have to believe that all the mammals disappeared leaving only human beings ... it is quite entertaining. That is why some people think that this might make more sense if it were on a planet outside the earth. And of course, later as advances the story we find a heroic fantasy in which only the magic is absent.

Well, the tiny humans have survived tying their lives to the big organized bugs. Symbiotic relationship, domestication, parasitism all fit here.

Humans have established a whole pantheon of gods: ant, bee, cockroach, mantis, lobster, termite, etc. Their culture is intertwined and based on their lives, and there is a rigid social stratification with queens, priests, soldiers and slaves. There is no technology, and society is a kind of despotism/hierocracy. The higher caste have skin 'fair and yellow'.

Anand, the protagonist, is a boy of the lowest caste within the Slopeites (and it is easy to identify him with the caste of the untouchables that continues to carry excrement today). He is 'polluted' and, horror, his skin is dark . Their culture adores the Queen Ant of leaf cutters.

Anand has no superpower or anything like that, but he has a different view of the world from the rest of his caste because his mother is a Britasyte, the roach people (who are some sort of vagrant gypsies who act as merchants), who has taught him different abilities -as hunting- to duck his head while collecting excrement and dismembering corpses. He is hoping to turn 16 y.o. to stop belonging to the Slopeites and leave with the Brytasites.

But when he became part of the people forced to start a new colony in the north, it is when it expands even more his vision of the world when encountering a totally different culture: the Dranverites (whom I still think of as 'United Colors of Benetton') , which are a kind of democratic utopia.

Meanwhile, from the south the Hulkrites (worshipers of Hulkro, god Termite) have decided to expander their holy word against the infidels. They remind me of those guys from the last movie Mad Max, they even paint them in white.

What will Anand do now with all that he has learned?//SPOILER--->I do not know why, but at times it reminds me of the protagonist of Lest Darkness Fall, trying by all means that things go his way, while the rest ignored it, and acts against he is trying to do to improve. To drag an entire enslaved society to do something contrary to everything they have believed their whole life is much more difficult than what this boy -that still does not reach 20 according to my accounts- is experimenting <---SPOILER/

Although this comes to a conclusion, it is clear that much remains to be done, along with several outstanding things coughPlekoocough.

fanart by mOschOpz

Acerca de la pregunta del segundo libro, el señor Clark Carlton me escribió un correo y , después de agradecerme por mi reseña, en forma muy agradable me indicó que esta trabajando en dicha secuela. Le gustó la imagen que usé para la reseña en Goodreads, y le dije que era de un mito zulu acerca de seres diminutos que montan sobre hormigas: los Abatwa

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