Posted by Literary Titan
War Bunny follows a young bunny who’s banished from her warren and must face a dangerous post-apocalyptic world alone. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
When my partner and I first started collecting rescue bunnies ten years ago, I knew nothing about rabbits. Like most people, I had been acculturated to think of rabbits as living plush toys: 24/7 snugglers created to be pets for tween girls.
I was surprised to discover how complex their lives were. How territorial they were. And how fierce.
We were bringing home rabbits one or two at a time from rescue organizations, and we gave them free run of the house. We did not know then that rabbits who don’t know each other may be highly suspicious on first meeting, and very protective of their perquisites.
We attempted to make them all one big happy family (called “bonding” in rabbit parlance) and were shocked to learn they had minds of their own.
The rabbits eventually organized themselves into two opposing gangs, each with its own leader. They competed for territory. They competed to control food, even though there was plenty for everyone. And they competed to monopolize the petting that came from the two amiable herb-dispensers and litter-box attendants who hovered over their world. Watching this, I was amazed at how “human” they were.
Anastasia is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideas behind your character’s development?
Making any change in the world also means making changes in yourself. We go on a journey with Anastasia and she struggles to find her way out of the maze of beliefs she has been taught. The innermost kernel of herself is her guide. That is the thing that she will not give up. It’s her foundation in terms of judging what to do next.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Often the “truths” about the world are drummed into us at a very young age. In our own lives, we see enormous evils that we are taught cannot be changed because “they have always been this way.” Acquiescing is what the predators want you to do. If a rabbit can take on a world that assigns her the role of “victim,” so can you.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
War Bunny is the first book in a series. The next book, Summerday, picks up right where War Bunny leaves off. I’m working on it now and it will be published in 2022.
A young rabbit fights back against a world that assigns her the role of “victim.”
In a post-apocalyptic world where humans are extinct and animals thrive, rabbits believe their god, Yah, has decreed that they must be Glorified by a Blessed One. That means becoming a predator’s meal, accepting their fate in a surrender called the Giving.
But Anastasia, a brown yearling doe living in Bloody Thorn Warren, is different from the other rabbits. She starts asking pointed questions of the warren elders and gets exiled for it.
Without a warren, she’s enormously vulnerable, but she reaches out to others in desperate straits. Soon, she’s leading a group of outcasts in a ferocious battle for survival—and maybe even freedom. It’s a fast-paced story about friendship, honor, love, and coming of age.
A great adventure read for teens and adults! (Fantasy, 13+)
Summerday, Book 2 in the War Bunny Chronicles, will be published in 2022.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
War Bunny is a riveting post-apocalyptic tale with a wonderful twist that I thoroughly enjoyed. Humans have been consigned to history, and the land has returned to a lush world where sweet herbs grow by the side of rivers and the lives of animals provide the drama. In the world of the rabbits, the predators are the Blessed while a rabbit is doomed to live “only until it is needed” as a meal. They are taught to welcome dying as the natural order of things, and they’re held in such low esteem by the wolves and foxes who hunt them, that they call them “lunch meat”. Anastasia is a rabbit who cannot follow the rules, and she is cast out of her burrow for not conforming. She also questions the rabbits’ preordained destiny as food for predators.
Author Christopher St. John has created a uniquely imaginative post-apocalyptic story while also providing some subtle but poignant commentary on society. The story is creative and droll at times which helps to break up what could have been an overly dark novel. One way he does so is through the clever use of character names. Regardless of their species, the characters all have names in a variety of styles, from the elegant Anastasia and Nicodemus to the goofy Love Bug and Bricabrac. With humor, he draws attention to his use of names when Bricabrac, the craftrat, introduces himself to a mouse called Death Rage. “O, that’s nice,” he says, without irony. “Very feminine.”
Besides this, the story paints a picture of a bunny world that is much more gory and violent than you might expect for rabbits. For example, where you might expect a warren to be called something like Cowslip, as in Watership Down, in War Bunny the home warren is called Bloody Thorn. The very name War Bunny sounds like a contradiction of terms and I love how that seeming contradiction is used throughout the book.
The ending was satisfying and I enjoyed the journey. War Bunny is a fantastic post-apocalyptic adventure novel that provides readers with an offbeat but ingenious story that will stay with them long after they’ve put the novel down.
Pages: 378 | ASIN: B096D18C15
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