Morte by Robert Repino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book should come with a warning: if you share a home with four-legged companions, watch out. I spent a lot of time assuring mine that they were much beloved members of my family, not "slaves".
To be honest, I've never been a huge fan of animals-as-people adult books (eg, Watership Down), although the Thornton Burgess books are among my childhood favorites. But Mort(e) is not one of "those" books - it's a riveting read, with Sebastian/Mort(e) as a flawed hero. His love, and search, for Sheba is inspirational and rings so true. The ending was a little messy, with a ton of action that doesn't really seem to fit with the previous pacing and tone; as climactic battle scenes go, it's a good one.
One of the things I loved most was the sense Mort(e) had that no group, not the ants, nor the animals, nor the humans, would ever get it "right" and that society (made up of whatever species) was fatally flawed. His only lodestar was Sheba, and one hopes that at the end, they live happily ever after.
ARC provided by publisher.