The book I’ll be reviewing today is Panther in the Hive by Olivia A. Cole.
In a futuristic Chicago, Tasha Lockett – the young black, orphaned protagonist leaves her house not knowing her world has been turned upside down and taken over by zombies known as Minkers as part of what can only be described as ‘the Change.’
The book starts at day four, Tasha is alone, fending to survive with her trusted Prada backpack and kitchen knife, surviving off the hope that her sister is alive and there are other people in the world like her who haven’t ‘changed’. Tasha travels across the desolate Chicago wasteland and faces many trials and tribulations on the way, will she make it? You’ll have to read to find out.
It took me 7 days to read this book because I was gripped from day 1. There were many important themes the main one being the dangers of technology and Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. Although Cole did not specifically mention RFID chips, I believe she was talking about them because it’s currently a hot topic and people voluntarily chipping themselves at their place of employment. Other themes were domestic violence, empathy, greed and the importance of resilience.
Empathy regarding how only those who could afford health care were chipped and the rest were left to die which reminded me of the current American health care system where if you don’t have health insurance and you’re ill, you have to create a Gofundme account because nobody is coming to save you. Those who could afford to be chipped were now Minkers, eating the poor who as always, were left to fend for themselves. It’s a cruel world. Empathy is a topic I’ve talked about at length on apieceofsarah.com, because more empathy would make the world a better place.
Another important theme was greed, greed, because the scientists knew there was a problem with the chips, but they didn’t care because it made them money, which reminded me of multiple corporation scandals – Johnson & Jonhson’s Ovarian Cancer Scandal and Monsanto’s ability to continue to create cancer causing products.
Likes and Dislikes
- My favourite character was Tasha of course. She was funny and resilient – characteristics, I like in a book character.
- Cole clearly warned the audience of the potential dangers of chipping themselves – which is important because not all ‘scientific breakthroughs’ are good for you and I personally don’t believe that scientists should be playing God. Chipping humans reminded me of the mark of the beast – Revelations 13: 16-17 and as we move towards a cashless society, I’m not a fan of it at all.
- One of my favourite characters died in the book and I wanted them to have a happy ending, additionally, there’s a lot of things that were unanswered in the book, which I believe will be answered in the sequel – A Rooster’s Garden.
- Tasha left her backpack (which contained her trusted kitchen knife) in the cat house because she needed to use the toilet and then ran into the Minkers. I didn’t like this bit because I was practically shouting for her to take her backpack, because I knew she would bump into Minkers. Similar to when actors in horror movies go to check out weird sounds in a haunted house instead of using their common sense and going home.
Overall, I recommend Panther in the Hive – By Olivia A. Cole, it’s funny, gripping and warns of the dangers of greed and scientific ‘breakthroughs’. Dangers, I believe, everyone should worry about.
Buy it here: Panther in the Hive by Olivia Cole