Zoo City

Lauren Beukes
Zoo City Cover

Zoo City


Zoo City. Man, Zoo City.

Can I just say, that I really like how recent SF/F authors have been stepping away from traditional settings and giving us some fresh new stuff? South Africa, Asia, South America, it's something that finally feels fresh and original!

Don't get me started on the interesting new magic systems that have sprung up.

Zoo City is one of the coolest books I've read in a while. There is a lot of grit, and sex, and drugs, and darkness, and teen pop stars, and alligator attacks. So yeah, it's pretty fun.

I don't want to get into the plot too much, because that isn't the best part of the book. No, the best part of the book is Zoo City itself. See, in this alternate world, people who experience intense guilt become "animalled." What that means is that some sort of animal becomes attached to you. Not literally, of course, but if the animalled person is too far from their animal, they begin to get violently ill. Also, if your animal is killed, you're consumed by some sort of evil, black vortex of doom. Awesome.

The animals give the human psychic powers, sort of. Each one is different. Some are useless, and some are really cool. Naturally, regular humans segregate these people away. Since it's a global phenomenon, though, and the book is set in South Africa, we see bits and pieces of the how the Animalled are treated in other countires. Those little explorations of the rest of the world are some of my favorite parts.

This book is brutal. Especially that ending, GOD THAT ENDING. It's not for the faint of heart, but it is a very good book.

So yeah, if you're itching to read something original and enticing, check out Zoo City. It deserves al the awards it won and more.