Review by Thurston Howl
"Born to this cradle below the stars, not unlike those who carried the torch before..." These are the opening words of J. Malan's new novel ReWritten, and they could not be more misleading. Despite the beauty of the opening lines and the equally stellar cover art, this is paws-down a book you do not want to read at night.
Starting out as an almost dystopic National Treasure, ReWritten follows Professor M. van Elsburg and several dangerous mercenaries into the wastelands--the kind of place no one of common sense wanders--in search of a historical artifact and its mysteries. There have been others seeking the same artifact...but no one's heard back from that expedition.
Part-dystopia, part-horror, part-posthumanist philosophy, part-furry, and altogether great fiction, ReWritten is a must-read. Coming into this book, I had high expectations from reading J. Malan's other work. While again, my initial thoughts as I began the novel were, "Wow, is this really going to be a furry National Treasure?" my concerns of it being cliche were quite quickly ripped from my mind. This book is scary. Not just on a visceral horror kind of way, but also in an ethical way. I walked away from this with actual philosophical insight, and that's rare for me, especially in a furry book.
I usually like to give my English students short challenges like offering exactly three words in response to a piece of literature. My three words in response to ReWritten would be: "Chilling ... provocative ... haunting."
Now is usually when I come to the weaknesses of the book and suggestions. Aside from the weak formatting of the interior, shoddy proofreading, and the inappropriate (for the genre) cover design, I would say the greatest weakness lies in the often shallow descriptions. But still, even with these minimalist sensory evocations, the psychological aspects of the horror are convincing and alluring.
All in all, I'd recommend this book to any furry who wants a quick read, especially if they want to be haunted a bit. I would not recommend this book to ... anyone who is reading before bed.