Christopher St. John
Harvest Oak Press (2021)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (08/2021)
5* Buoyed with evocative prose that tells a ripping tale
“War Bunny” is a spectacular fantasy novel written by Christopher St. John. Set in a dystopian world where humans are non-existent, a female bunny called Anastasia begins questioning the ways of Yah in her home, Bloody Thorn Warren. It was believed that prey should not fight back and should accept their fate of being devoured by predators (Blessed Ones). This was known as Glorification. That was the will of Yah and was never to be questioned.
Anastasia does not believe this and is soon banished from the warren she had learned to call home, for fear she would infect others with a condition she had and bring a curse to the warren for trying to contradict Yah’s wishes. She is left at the mercy of the Blessed Ones and soon gets into a fight with a fox that seeks to make her his meal. Anastasia fights back and this act is received with horror and disapproval by other animals across the region. An extraordinary rabbit, Anastasia learns how to look out for herself, and soon, other prey outcasts join her in her quest for freedom, with mixed feelings of fear and determination. Her ferociousness and tenacity make some believe that she could be their savior. She, on the other hand, secretly hopes that Yah is with her as she leads a revolution intent on challenging the way of life across the region.
It is not often that one gets to luxuriate in such beautiful prose. “War Bunny” is written in classic folklore style with Anastasia, the heroine in the story, capturing the attention of other animals across the plains. The author’s way of anthropomorphizing his characters is unique since he also adds a realistic approach to their mannerisms and behavior. The predator-prey action scenes displayed in the yarn are epic. Author St. John creates imaginative scenes in the reader’s mind through his words.
This thought-provoking read examines the dynamics of a revolution against the backdrop of unquestioned oppression and tyranny. The world-building is captivating and the vivid descriptions are evocative. As the book buds, Anastasia is joined by more and more animals who are uniquely different but all share the same need for acceptance and emotional rejuvenation.
“War Bunny” is a clean narrative whose range of vocabulary diversity is broad. It is a beautiful story that wraps you in its embrace and does not let go. The beauty of the story is the allegory and symbolism in it. The deeper story in it mirrors modern society, hence relevant to today’s genre. For this reason, I give the book 5 stars. This yarn is adventurous and family-friendly. It is suitable for middle-aged children and adults as well. It is also a must-read for animal lovers.