--Keith Donohue, TheWashington Post
Winner of Best of Region for the Southwest in PRINT s 2016 Regional Design Awards
Bats of the Republicis anilluminatednovel of adventure, featuringhand-drawn maps and natural history illustrations, subversive pamphlets and science-fictional diagrams, and even a nineteenth-century novel-within-a-novel an intrigue wrapped in innovative design.
In 1843, fragile naturalistZadock Thomas must leave his beloved in Chicago to deliver a secret letterto an infamous general on the front lines of the war over Texas. The fate of the volatile republic, along with Zadock s future, depends on his mission.When a cloud of bats leads him off the trail, he happens upon something impossible...
Three hundred years later, the world has collapsed and theremnants of humanity cling to a strange society of paranoia.Zeke Thomas has inherited a sealed envelope from his grandfather, an esteemed senator.When that letter goes missing, Zekeengages a fomenting rebellion that could free him if it doesn t destroy his relationship, his family legacy, and the entire republic first.
As their stories overlap and history itself begins to unravel, a war in time erupts between a lost civilization, a forgotten future, and the chaos of the wild. Bats of the Republicis a masterful novel of adventure and science fiction, of elliptical history and dystopian struggle, and, at its riveting core, of love."
- ISBN-13: 9780385539838
- ISBN-10: 0385539835
- Publisher: Doubleday Books
- Publish Date: October 2015
- Page Count: 448
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-08-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Dodson’s debut is a creatively illustrated tale of letters lost and found in the vein of J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst’s S. After a vague catastrophe called the Collapse decimates the United States, the survivors take refuge in seven city-states across the country and establish a totalitarian new regime. Citizens are grouped according to their “lifephase,” all conversations are recorded and stored in “the Vault,” and the country is run by a bloodline of seven senators. When one such senator dies, he bequeaths a sealed letter to his grandson, Zeke Thomas, which could cast doubt on the family’s lineage and prevent him from eventually assuming power. The narrative alternates between Zeke’s story, set in 2143 in a dystopian Texas teeming with political schemers and revolutionaries, and that of his ancestor, Zadock Thomas, set in 1840s Texas. Zadock is a young naturalist who, in order to secure a marriage blessing from his beloved’s father, consents to undertake a dangerous mission for him: delivering a sealed letter to a Kurtz-like Texan general. Despite this urgent imperative, the naturalist redirects his energies and seeks to make a name for himself by documenting the undiscovered species of bats he finds in a vast underground cave. The stories elegantly fit together, but the novel is marred by wooden dialogue and the awkwardly expository nature of the prose (despite being in dire, time-sensitive situations, characters are always willing to recap events or spell out motives). The copious maps, illustrations, and found documents do add some flair, making this volume worth picking up for history and adventure fans. (Oct.)