How Cats Survived the Apocalypse by Justin Allan Arnold

How Cats Survived the Apocalypse by Justin Allan Arnold
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The Earth: a lifeless, misshapen rock tumbling through space. Mars: a green paradise ruled by cats. The Mysteries: what catastrophe had ended Earth? why were cats able to survive when humanity could not? and how did a few adventurous felines take possession of Mars? Find out from the cats themselves, when three of their most astute ambassadors cunningly respond to a galactic emperor’s inquiries.

With tales inside of tales, like a feline version of A Thousand And One Nights, this whimsical, yet slyly profound science fiction fable answers the eponymous question of How Cats Survived The Apocalypse.

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The plot twists were creative and well done. A few of them took me by total surprise which is always an amusing thing to experience. I enjoyed getting this peek at how the author’s imagination worked. He sure seemed to have enjoyed the process of coming up with ways to keep his characters moving towards their goals without reaching them in the manner in which they assumed everything would happen.

This was something I enjoyed reading quite a bit, but there were times when I had trouble matching up the stories of the three cat ambassadors due to how many different timelines and eras they covered. I only wish I’d had a clearer understanding of the order in which everything happened and why their explanations sometimes seemed to be saying stuff that didn’t quite all fit together. Was it a commentary on the way legends can change between generations or among different cultures? Should I have listened more closely to one cat than to the others? If I knew the answers to these questions, I would have gone with a much higher rating.

Mr. Arnold had an elegant writing style that fit the themes of this novella perfectly. I kept a dictionary close by to look up the ornate words he included in his descriptions. Each one of them was carefully chosen and added new layers of meaning to the scenes they were featured in. This is definitely something that should be savored, especially once the cats began sharing their stories about how the reign of man ended and Mars became a feline paradise.

How Cats Survived the Apocalypse was a thought-provoking read that I hope to revisit again soon.

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