Although The Story Was Well-Written But It Was Too Unbelievable Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Book Review

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Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Book Review

Imagine a world where after you commit a crime, you find yourself with a familiar creature. Neither you nor anyone you know can stay away from each other, it makes it clear to everyone that you have done something very bad: you are now a zoo, or “animal” or a dozen other names – you are even seen as a witch, and you Be excommunicated, even if your sin is not that great (there is no rule that sin begins to become an “animal”). Jinji December, an ex-journalist and ex-junkie, has spent time in prison for murder, has a sloth as his constant companion, and is now trying to pay off the debts incurred by his former drug habit. He does this by finding lost things (a magical gift he received after Sloth became his partner), a Nigerian scam he does for a man he owes a lot of money to, and then the case of a missing child singer, South. A new music star in Africa.

Now, he doesn’t usually work on missing persons, because his gift is working for things, but the money is good (even if his employer and his associates, two zookeepers, are despicable), and he’s desperate to pay off his debt. So he accepts the case and begins his journey to the dark side of Johannesburg. Due to her laziness and her lover (a zookeeper with a mongoose), she will contact her former associates – some will help her, some will cause more trouble than help – but in the end it will mostly be her and her sloth as someone who sees them as dirt. Trying to survive in the world.

in the world Zoo City, if you commit a crime, or if you commit a sin (and who doesn’t?), you may find yourself with an animal companion. No matter your age, race, ethnicity, religion, social status. The animal you receive has little to do with the nature of your sin/crime. A terrorist can get a penguin, a nine-year-old boy can get a cobra, a petty thief can get a tiger. “Animals” have been studied by scientists, but no one has been able to find a rule.

In some countries, “animals” go to prison (even if they haven’t committed a crime, or if their crime isn’t something you’d normally go to prison for) or are killed by default. In others, they can walk the streets freely, but are deprived in other ways, they are always suspected of something, cannot rent an apartment in some part of the city, or get a room in a hotel, etc. The fear of the “animals” is that anyone can become one of them at some point, who has no sin?

of the world Zoo City What is most interesting in this novel. The characters are interesting and believable (I found it refreshing to read about a female African protagonist), the plot is good, the writing is flawless, but it’s the world of the “animals” that caught my attention. Lauren Beukes’ vision of world building Zoo City Closer to science fiction than urban fantasy approach: that is, a new thing is introduced (“the zoo”), and then the effect of that thing on society and on some example of that society (an ex-con, a refugee from another country, a music producer, sewer (some poor kids close to the system, a famous singer, a terrorist and so on) are explored, and explored in detail, without ever overdoing the main story with it. What added to my enjoyment of this novel was the communication between the “animals” and their animal companions – though humans and their animal companions have some basic awareness of each other’s feelings, motives, ideas, though through that awareness they can communicate them. Need each other, there are no talking animals, the world is not like Aesop’s Fables or Narnia.

Zoo City A fascinating urban fantasy novel with elements of science fiction and noir thriller that describes a near-future Johannesburg where zookeepers – people who have found an animal companion after committing a sin – try to survive in an unfriendly world, as seen through the eyes of a human. Strong, believably flawed female protagonist. It’s a compelling, thought-provoking novel with dark humor, and an enjoyable read for anyone who loves urban fantasy, science fiction, noir, or simply a good, well-written book.

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