Hello everyone and happy Monday! Today I am back with another review for an SPSFC book, and I can tell you that this one was pretty unique in a lot of different ways!
Title: Dog Country
Author: Malcom F. Cross
Page Count: 288
Publication Date: March 28th, 2016
A crowdfunded civil war is Azerbaijan’s only hope against its murderous dictatorship. The war is Edane Estian’s only chance to find out if he’s more than what he was designed to be.
He’s a clone soldier, gengineered from a dog’s DNA and hardened by a brutal training regime. He’d be perfect for the job if an outraged society hadn’t intervened, freed him at age seven, and placed him in an adopted family.
Is he Edane? Cathy and Beth’s son, Janine’s boyfriend, valued member of his MilSim sports team? Or is he still White-Six, serial number CNR5-4853-W6, the untroubled killing machine?
By joining a war to protect the powerless, he hopes to become more than the sum of his parts.
Without White-Six, he’ll never survive this war. If that’s all he can be, he’ll never leave it.
It seems like all the books I reviewed lately left me a bit confused because once again I have to say that I have mixed feelings towards this book. Truth be told, they were all books that I enjoyed, mixed feelings apart, so that’s good, but I hope to find the time to write a review or two for some of the books that I enjoyed without mixed feelings in there. But for now let’s take a better look at this one!
The characters in there are gengineered people, mainly we have former soldiers with dog DNA, and they all are alike, the same kind of dog and the same look. It is hard to recognize one from the other, even for them, using only their looks. But they are not the only one to have been geningered, we get to see others that carry other animals DNA, but our protagonists are mainly from the first type. And our real MC is Edane. We get to know him pretty well in this book, and one of the best thing is that when we reach the end of the book, Edane become one of our friends. And I think it is almost impossible to not be moved by him and by his story. Around Edane and his story the author develop a lot of interesting themes. We have the most evident, about the ethics of biongeneering and similar, we have the debat around war too, and we have to really take a look at the life of soldiers. And then there is PTSD, that it is really present in there too. And there is also the part about integration and the way in which the society treats what and who perceives as different. So, there is quite a lot on a bigger scale, as to say. And mind me, this is great. Because this is really a book that made you think, and it made you think about a lot of different topics and matters. And this is a good thing.
But there is also a more intimate dimension to it all, that touches Edane as a person, and this was what really get to me. When you read a book, and things go well, usually there is something that you will take with you after finishing it. Sometimes it can be the feeling of a new friendship with new characters, sometimes is a POV on something, sometimes a quote that resound with you, or a new place to visit, or whatever. And what will stay with me for quite a long time, in there, is Edane realtionship with his girlfriend.
And I know that it can really sounds stupid, because there is quite a lot going on, aside from the plot, in this book, that a relationship is not what you will expect to really focus on. And yet, Edane and his girlfriend have one of the best realtionship ever portraied. And it is not because they are happy (they are not), but it is that they really try and, and this is what really did it for me, they are quite honest, not only with each other, but with their own self. They are really different, they want and need different things, and it is really hard for them to understand each other some times, but even if the fight and they can’t fix all that is wrong, they are honest, they are real and they have the courage to ask. (Okay, more Janine, I think she was called so, than Edane). But the scene in which she admits to him that she needs someone who tell her that she is beautiful, and not only that, but someone who makes her feel beautiful, was one of the best scene not only of the book, but of the way in which relationships are portraied in books. Because it is not easy to say something like this, and it is not really easy to admit something like this with ourselves. This honesty, and this level of self-knowledge was short of amazing, to me.
And the fact that Edane doesn’t even know what beautiful means, well, it add another layer in there. And it was just so good. (Even if, yes, they relationship is on hedge, and you don’t really know what would happen to them until the end. But, and this is really a strange thing coming for me, here it is not important if they would get an happy ending or not, it is important the journey. ).
And then we have the theme of identity. Edane is really having a hard time adjusting to his life outside the army and the war, because:
It wasn’t just a movie he had to live beside, watching every day, full of people, human people who didn’t look like him, being fulfilled by things he could never understand but things he’d be judged for all the same.
Edane had been made to be a soldier, and he wasn’t one. Because it was bad to be a soldier.
You really feel the struggle here, and it is so moving, and it is so hard. It was really amazing. And it made me really fall for Edane.
So I think you get what I really loved about this book. And there is another thing that was pretty pretty great: they crowfounded a war. It is just mindblowing, it is incredible, but it is also quite plausible. And this is really really scary. But it was brilliant!
All of this is pretty great, and so far there is not a single bad thing. But now let’s get to what wasn’t so great in there. I have to confess that I speed read some part of this book, because I wasn’t really interested in them. A lot of Edane brother’s, and Edane himself too, play a simulation game, a sort of warfare game that help them find a goal in this new exictence, and we get to see a lot of their games. And I wasn’t really so interested. And we get to see a lot of real fights too, when they went to war and… again, not so interested in all of that. If on one hand I was invested in Edane and his brothers life, on the other I wasn’t really interested in some parts of the book. And there are a lot of scenes that were games or real fights. So yeah… on one hand I enjoyed a lot of things in there, and I really think that it is a pretty solid book on some different levels, because it really get you thinking and this is good, but on the other it was also borign in a lot of scenes.
But all things considered, I am feeling like recommending it anyway, because Edane is worth meeting, and there are a lot of interesting topic!
And that’s all for today! Have you read this book? Or something else by this author?? Let me know!