We Are the Ants

Hardcover, 455 pages

English language

Published Jan. 18, 2016 by Simon Pulse.

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4 stars (7 reviews)

From the author of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes a brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving.

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

Only he isn’t sure he wants to.

After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.

Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.

But Henry is a scientist first, and …

5 editions

Review of 'We Are the Ants' on 'Storygraph'

1 star

Just awful. I bought the book after reading the blurb, which suggested a philosophical science fiction book (although having re-read it I can now see the warning signs of excessive teen angst). Unfortunately, the book is a complete mess; one I'd have given up on quickly if its review score hadn't been so positive. The author's decision to touch on such a wide range of subjects doesn't allow him to delve deeply into any of the issues. A few issues: the writing is dry and simplistic; we're told a character feels something, but aren't shown that they do; horrific acts are frequently brushed aside; relationships and motivations never feel convincing; and the book is overly crude despite its framing as an extra credit report. It's also incredibly repetitive and overly long. Finally, and given my reason for reading the book, most damningly, it doesn't do a decent job of attempting …

Review of 'We Are the Ants' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

If the world were going to be destroyed and you could stop it, would you? More tension there than Hitchhikers Guide which destroys it right at the beginning. And then there's [b:The Three-Body Problem|20518872|The Three-Body Problem|Liu Cixin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1415428227s/20518872.jpg|25696480] which I am linking to because it was so excellent. There, the Earth was spared (so far) but I had sided with those who wanted to wipe out humanity, and not just because I was bullied as a kid (I was!) Also for the Cultural Revolution. And the we-are-bugs metaphor was different: Bugs are easily crushed under foot and yet manage to survive anyway. Go read this book now!

From the standpoint of a character in a novel, the book is the world and that world ends when the book is finished. It would end for me when I abandoned the book and I was considering it. This seems to be my year …

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