The Bees
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The Bees

by Laline Paull
Release date: May 2014
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyanimal fantasy

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015.

Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize for New Fiction 2015.

Enter a whole new world, in this thrilling debut novel set entirely within a beehive.

Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen.

But Flora is not like other bees. Despite her ugliness she has talents that are not typical of her kin. While mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is removed from sanitation duty and is allowed to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous.

But enemies are everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. And when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all her instinct to serve is overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce love that will lead to the unthinkable...

Laline Paull’s chilling yet ultimately triumphant novel creates a luminous world both alien and uncannily familiar. Thrilling and imaginative, ‘The Bees’ is the story of a heroine who, in the face of an increasingly desperate struggle for survival, changes her destiny and her world.

updated 2017-01-17

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Reviews (1)

Booknan the Bookuser avatar
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Holy shitschnitzel! How is it possible to make me care so fucking much about a fucking bee?! It's a bee, a buzzing, stinging bee, a goddamned winged insect that gives grown men panic attacks when they find themselves in a confined space with one, and I fucking cried for it! What the hell? This is a ridiculously good, and insanely important book. It should be made mandatory reading in schools everywhere. Save the bees! Accept. Obey. Serve.
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