Apidae by Lisa Borne Graves

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SKU 978-1-77339-845-7
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What happens if bees go extinct? 

In the not so distant future, scientifically modified Emlyn and Ace find themselves thrown into the role of saviors on a perilous mission where their tenuous relationship could save or destroy mankind. As the war between rebels and the corrupt government reaches a fever pitch, Ace is bent on self-sacrifice and revenge, while Emlyn must choose between her heart and the future of mankind.

14+ due to adult situations and sexuality

 

Excerpt:

“Would you like me to enlighten you?”

The gruff man combed his greasy beard with his fingers. A smile lit up his features due to her question. The kind of smile when one thought something was so cute and helpless but had fake bravado. A kitten. He stared at Emlyn how one would a domesticated kitten, but she was more like the feral kind, the kind that came up to someone with sad little eyes and when his or her guard was down, pounced.

“Please do.”

“First, you guys always underestimate me. I get away every time.” She spoke in a condescending tone as one would a child.

“You always have help.” He amended quite incorrectly.

“Once, I did, but the other two times I escaped myself. I fully intend to do it again.”

He laughed wholeheartedly at her comment.

“Pretty dumb of you to camp so close to MICE headquarters.” He changed the subject. She agreed. She was going to strangle Huck, but really, it was the elusive Ace’s fault. He had to be found and he was somewhere in this building, she hoped.

“Pretty dumb of you to walk into my trap as well,” she fired back.

“What trap is that?” He suddenly lost his commandeering gaze. Worry flitted across his features. It should. She had her hands free now. The man was right. Something on a huge level was done by her mother and it was done to Emlyn herself. Her blood had eaten through the titanester fibers enough to make it brittle and break in her last attempt to free them.

“You just told me where I am, and I do know how to get out of here.”

He swallowed hard, so Emlyn knew she was right. She was in the MICE’s northeast headquarters. The worst possible place. The smell of ammunition meant she was in the basement of the building, much harder to get out of.

“Yes, but you have to get through me first and then you probably already know how many are waiting between this door and freedom. You’re ours this time.”

“I belong to no one,” Emlyn said with restrained anger and then let the wild kitten in her pounce. She gripped the chair, jumped up, and folded it closed. She swung the chair all before the man could even move. All he could do was flinch as she made sure the metal edge came smashing into the side of his head. His hands shot up protectively just as it was too late and a nauseating crack echoed in the tiny room. The man slouched over and moaned, so she knew he wasn’t dead. She searched his pockets for a key because it was one of those old locks. Finding a chain of swipe cards with two old-fashioned keys on it, she smiled ruefully. So stupid, these MICE agents. Well, he could’ve been kinder and had a better weapon on him than a set of fingernail pliers. She tried the first key and it worked. Racing into the poorly lit hallway, she heard people talking in rushed whispers. She ducked into the shadow of a doorway and tried the knob behind her. It was locked. Out of options, she froze, listening.

The two voices continued. “You sure she’s down here?”

“Yes.”

“I’d rather just get you out of here to safety first.”

“We need her, Ace.”

Emlyn froze, her mind whirling. The man they had been looking for for over ten years was suddenly here and most likely trying to find her? She wasn’t sure what he wanted with her or if he was safe. Part of her wanted to make herself known and the other wanted to eliminate any threat. She had to make her decision fast because they were approaching. Then, as they drew near, she smelled it. Honey, grass, and all that was Huck, but it was tainted with something, the smell of death. Her heart lurched and her fury peaked. Ace killed Huck, her guardian, her protector, her teacher, her friend, her crush, her world. She leaped out and tackled the closest man with an unquenchable bloodlust.

 

****

Suddenly, someone launched themselves at him. His hyper-perceptive senses realized this a beat before contact and he braced himself for the impact. What he wasn’t ready for was the buzzing sensation when said assailant came into contact with him. It was a pleasing oscillation under his flesh that made him think of his childhood on the farm with his grandparents, mother, and sister when they were all alive and well. He had been so young he hardly remembered the farm, but knew that only his father, he, and his sister survived the plague and famine. They lost his sister six years ago, which spurned on their desire to defy MICE.

When they hit the ground with a thud, him on top, he was yanked back to the present and out of his reveries. He was pinning down the wrists of his assailant when he realized she was female and that in the fall, the way their bodies splayed out was a bit intimate, to say the least. She was a hell-cat, as Huck foretold. Ace knew from her menacing stare and her writhing that she wouldn’t go with them easily. But goodness, even in the dim light he could see she was beautiful. All he could discern were intense eyes, light hair and skin, and a supple chest that pressed against him and made his mind muddled.

“Where’s Huck? What have you done to him?” She writhed and began to buck, trying to knock him off. It gave him the opposite desire than her intentions. He wanted to stay this way forever, holding her as close as possible.

“Shhhh!” His father warned him to silence her.

“Emlyn, listen. We’re trying to get you out of here. Just stop fighting,” he whispered. She stopped moving. “Huck is meeting us in the infirmary.”

They heard the guard moan in the cell. Ace looked at his father, who rushed into the cell to silence him. After leaping up, Ace felt utterly bereft when no longer in contact with her. He didn’t know how he could feel this way right away. He clutched her hand and the pleasant buzzing resumed. Bees, he thought, like when he was little and he’d go into the hive barn to collect honey and they’d circle him and land on him as if he were part of the colony. 

Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings)
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4/5
Long and Short Reviews
Written by Astillbe on 1st Feb 2019

If humans want to survive, they’ll need to find a way to save the bees. The premise of this book grabbed my attention immediately. I appreciated the fact that the author spent so much time coming up with logical ways in which human society would change, and even start to disintegrate, once the bees began dying off and food supplies ran dangerously low. She went into the perfect amount of detail about how crucial pollinators like these are for the ecosystem and how devastating it would be to lose or nearly lose them. While I wanted the two characters who developed feelings for each other to end up together, their potential relationship felt out of place in this story. There were so many other things going on in it, many of which were time-sensitive and incredibly dangerous, that I was confused by the inclusion of the romantic subplot. It didn’t seem like something that either of the participants should have had much energy to think about when their lives were in danger and humanity itself could be going extinct. It would have been really helpful for there to have been more scenes establishing why these characters decided to pursue their feelings so quickly and how they found the time to do so in the middle of what was basically a war. Emlyn felt like a real person to me, flaws and all. There were times when she said or did things that annoyed me, but then there would be other scenes where her quick thinking and bravery made me cheer. I loved the many nuances of her personality, especially the fact that a few of her weaknesses were things that actually affected the course of the plot. She was perfectly imperfect, and that’s exactly what I want to see in a main character. Apidae was one of the most creative dystopias I’ve read recently, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys that genre.

4/5
Not as far-fetched as you might think....
Written by Kate Larkindale on 19th Dec 2018

In a world where climate change is threatening to change everything, the premise of this book - a world in which bees have been wiped out - is not as far fetched as you might think. In this future, a militant organization does everything it can to keep those who wish to re-populate the bees down. And that includes killing the people whose scientific research has led to genetically modifying people to be able to communicate with bees and possibly even pollinate themselves. So far only two people who can do this have been created: Emlyn and Ace. As soon as they meet one another, they know they are made for each other. Their blood sings together and the bee venom in there makes it difficult to be apart. At the same time, that same venom makes them volatile and angry, so the path of their attraction does not run smoothly. Especially when they are on the run from militant agents who wish to kill them, and searching a hostile, fearful country for safety with a band of rebels. I enjoyed this fast-paced, futuristic read. There was plenty of action to keep the plot moving, but I felt like a little more world-building would not have gone amiss. I never really understood the motivations of the MICE agents and why they would want the bees to remain gone permanently. It seems to me there are better ways to control the people, than to keep them from being able to grow their own food.

5/5
Great book!
Written by Sharon Reynolds on 19th Dec 2018

This was a great book! It was very well-written and the concept of using bee venom in humans to save humanity was both interesting and unique! I truly enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to future reads from Lisa Borne Graves!

5/5
A solid debut novel with a fascinating concept.
Written by Jen D on 6th Dec 2018

I received an advanced copy for review and really enjoyed this story! A solid debut novel with a fascinating concept. Lisa Borne Graves writes about a future with the near-extinction of bees and how humans must adjust to survive. Ace and Emlyn are two of the only people with the ability to help reverse the effects of the declining bee population. Apidae is an action-packed, fast-paced story that will make you think about the effects of endangered animal and insect populations.

5/5
Ever wonder what a world without bees would look like? Lisa Borne Graves has the answer for you.
Written by Cheshire Cat on 3rd Dec 2018

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review* What would the world be like without bees? That's the questions Lisa Borne Graves asks through her debut novel Apidae. "What happens if bees go extinct? In the not so distant future, scientifically modified Emlyn and Ace find themselves thrown into the role of saviors on a perilous mission where their tenuous relationship could save or destroy mankind. As the war between rebels and the corrupt government reaches a fever pitch, Ace is bent on self-sacrifice and revenge, while Emlyn must choose between her heart and the future of mankind. 14+ due to adult situations and sexuality" Emlyn Apidae is different. She heals quickly, has heightened senses, and has a strange affinity for bees. With the help of her best friend, Huck, they try to make their way through a dystopian world where the government controlled MICE is using illnesses to wipe out mankind in some strange population control. With bees close to extinction, Emlyn's mother experimented on her and others to try and give humans the ability to mimic bees. Before her death she leaves Emlyn with one request. Find Ace and the Queen. Self healing and heightened sensed Ace has infiltrated the MICE facility with his father with the intent of bringing it down. When Emlyn is caputured, it's up to him to rescue her. Together, they work to find the Queen, start a new hive, and take down MICE in an attempt to start over. But there's something about Ace that has Emlyn questioning their abilities. She and Ace are drawn to each other, two halves that make a whole. And if that bond doesn't function, the world may very well end. Apidae is well written in third person narrative as it switches between Ace and Emlyn. Following them through a desolate world where fruit, flowers, and trees, gives thought to what life would be like if bees did cease to exist. Out now from Evernight Teen, it is well worth the read.

5/5
Ever wonder what a life without bees would be like?
Written by Niki on 30th Nov 2018

What would the world be like without bees? That's the questions Lisa Borne Graves asks through her debut novel Apidae. "What happens if bees go extinct? In the not so distant future, scientifically modified Emlyn and Ace find themselves thrown into the role of saviors on a perilous mission where their tenuous relationship could save or destroy mankind. As the war between rebels and the corrupt government reaches a fever pitch, Ace is bent on self-sacrifice and revenge, while Emlyn must choose between her heart and the future of mankind. 14+ due to adult situations and sexuality" Emlyn Apidae is different. She heals quickly, has heightened senses, and has a strange affinity for bees. With the help of her best friend, Huck, they try to make their way through a dystopian world where the government controlled MICE is using illnesses to wipe out mankind in some strange population control. With bees close to extinction, Emlyn's mother experimented on her and others to try and give humans the ability to mimic bees. Before her death she leaves Emlyn with one request. Find Ace and the Queen. Self healing and heightened sensed Ace has infiltrated the MICE facility with his father with the intent of bringing it down. When Emlyn is caputured, it's up to him to rescue her. Together, they work to find the Queen, start a new hive, and take down MICE in an attempt to start over. But there's something about Ace that has Emlyn questioning their abilities. She and Ace are drawn to each other, two halves that make a whole. And if that bond doesn't function, the world may very well end. Apidae is well written in third person narrative as it switches between Ace and Emlyn. Following them through a desolate world where fruit, flowers, and trees, gives thought to what life would be like if bees did cease to exist. Out now from Evernight Teen, it is well worth the read.