Book: B The EXXtinction - The Only Hope for Man is a Woman by Santiago Mantillacategories: Book, Dystopian Society, Young Adult, Steam Punk, Apocalypse, Literary Fiction, Protagonist, Conspiracy, Military, Historical Fiction, Fundamentalist, Oppression, Science Fiction
Santiago Mantillaabout this book: Set in the United States of America in the year 2034. This is an epic novel of a fight for the survival of a species, mankind as we know it. A tale of a father's love for his daughter and his battle to prepare her to take on the leadership role of a lifetime, to become the head of the rebellion against the Queen whose sole purpose in life is the extermination of all men. In a cataclysmic occurrence known as the "The Event", the Queen starts a vicious civil war that reduces the male population by seventy five percent. With the creation of a subliminal communication device she takes over the minds of women throughout the nation and they begin a mass genocide. Queen Estevez theorizes that all women will take action against men. That is not the case. She underestimates the strong connections and bonds amongst men and women. The wonderful relationships that exist between husbands and wives, fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters, they become the very foundation of the rebellion. Due to a combination of circumstance and ability Noah, Talayeh's father finds himself smack in the middle of the resistance, sacrificing himself to increase their chances of survival. His actions plant the seeds of hope in Talayeh's mind that eventually turn the tide. Surviving the Queen's death squads is the first obstacle, surviving each other is the next. Like a Queen Bee Estevez believes that she and her sisters shall inherit the earth. The only hope for mankind is a woman.
As in many dystopian fantasies, there's a kernal of truth to what Santiago is proposing: given the high incarceration rate of men, as well as the fact that girls test better than boys in reading, math and science, Mantilla's premise is at the very least plausible, making it more gripping and effective.
One of the concerns with a book like this is if it is an anti-feminist screed, a sort of anti-Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and thankfully that is not the case. Though there is inevitably some flavor of anti-feminism ("After women gained equality in all areas of American life, things tilted in a very different direction.") it is not a political screed saying: this is what will happen if we give feminists too much power. It's more of a what if scenario that celebrates both masculinity and femininity, and the bonds we all share. It's a tough balance for Mantilla, but he pulls it off. A thought-provoking and well-written work of speculative fiction.
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