The Bees by Laline Paull | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Bees by Laline Paull | Audiobook ReviewThe Bees by Laline Paull
Narrator: Orlagh Cassidy
Length: 10 Hours 15 Minutes
Published by Harper Collins on May 6th 2014
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook, ARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781443433600

Born into the lowest class of an ancient hierarchical society, Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, an Untouchable, whose labour is at her ancient orchard hive's command. As part of the collective, she is taught to accept, obey and serve. Altruism is the highest virtue, and worship of her beloved Queen, the only religion. Her society is governed by the priestess class, questions are forbidden and all thoughts belong to the Hive Mind.
But Flora is not like other bees. Her curiosity is a dangerous flaw, especially once she is exposed to the mysteries of the Queen's Library. But her courage and strength are assets, and Flora finds herself promoted up the social echelons. From sanitation to feeding the newborns in the royal nursery to becoming an elite forager, Flora revels in service to her hive.
When Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses who are jealously wed to power. Her deepest instinct to serve and sacrifice is now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart and her society, and lead her to commit unthinkable deeds . . .

Why Did I Listen To The Bees by Laline Paul?

The Bees by Laline Paull appealed to me, not because of the campaign where they mailed honey and the book to reviewers. But, because of how it is an anthropomorphic story and I have a soft spot for those. I mean, I grew up on the Redwall books and it has been an awfully long time since I’ve read a book about animals being sort of like humans. Also? The Bees was on Hoopla and I have this obsession with getting physical books off my shelf and into the donation box by listening to the audiobook version while I drive and do other non sit and read type things.

What’s The Story Here?

Laline Paull’s The Bees is a dystopian book about a hive of bees and focuses particularly on Flora 717, a sanitation worker. Technically, Flora shouldn’t be able to speak. She should just be able to do sanitation type stuff and live by the motto accept, obey, serve. Alas, Flora has some secrets. She can speak. Even more important, she’s got the ability to reproduce and have babies. This sort of sets her up to be a threat to the queen of the hive. Due to Flora’s intellect, she keeps on getting promoted to better and better jobs. This then leads to her doing the unthinkable and placing her life at risk.

What Did I Think Of The Bees?

One thing about me is that I love a good oppressive society and regime. Not in real life of course, but in books. The Bees certainly delivers on that. I felt like Laline Paull did an excellent job crafting her world building. The society of the bees in this book is very complex and intricate. I absolutely found myself enjoying that. This book is really absorbing and interesting. The plotting is well paced. The characters all have different motivations that served to draw me in. Plus, the premise is just so unique. I actually would seek out more books by Laline Paull after reading this.

How’s The Narration?

The Bees is narrated by Orlagh Cassidy. I guess I have listened to another book narrated by Orlagh Cassidy before but don’t remember which ones or one. However many. I felt like she had a wonderful voice for this book. She does different voices for the characters, but manages to sound entrenched in a regal society as she reads. I imagine that probably sounds nonsensical, but if you read this book via audio, you will get my meaning exactly. The audiobook is just over ten hours long and a delight to listen to.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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