Appleseed by Matt Bell

Appleseed by Matt Bell

Author: Matt Bell
View book: Appleseed

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK – A PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER BEST OF THE YEAR

Introduction:

In Appleseed, a novel by Matt Bell, the author weaves together elements of myth, science fiction, and ecological warning to create a compelling and urgent narrative. Praised by Kelly Link, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and national bestselling author, the book explores themes of climate change, manifest destiny, humanity’s exploitation of natural resources, and the power found within a single apple. With its breathtaking ideas and unique storyline, Appleseed offers a thought-provoking reading experience like no other.

18th-century Ohio:

The story begins in the wilderness of eighteenth-century Ohio, where two brothers venture into the untamed frontier with the intention of planting apple orchards. Their goal is to profit from these orchards in the future, as they reshape the land according to their vision of settlement and civilization. However, as they work towards their ambitions, the deep-seated bonds and secrets between the brothers will be tested, leading to fractures that could be both irreparable and healing.

Second half of the twenty-first century:

Fifty years from our present time, the Earth has been ravaged by the effects of climate change. A single company, having advanced in genetic engineering and food science, monopolizes the world’s resources. But resistance is growing, as a movement aims to redistribute both land and power. In a crucial moment that could determine the future of humanity, one of the founders of this company returns to its headquarters with the intent of dismantling what he helped create.

One thousand years in the future:

Fast forward to a thousand years from now, where North America is covered by a massive sheet of ice. In this frozen landscape, a lone sentient being resides in a tech station atop a glacier. With a daring and seemingly impossible quest, this being sets out to follow a homing beacon across the continent, hoping to find the last remnants of civilization.

Appleseed, a novel that takes on grand scale and themes, marks a breakthrough for Matt Bell, a writer who NPR describes as self-assured and audacious. It is a captivating blend of speculative epic, tech thriller, and reimagined fairy tale. Through its pages, Appleseed reflects on pressing issues such as climate change, corporate responsibility, civic duty, and the enduring power of myths and legends that shape our world.

Appleseed by Matt Bell | A Genre-Bending Speculative Epic: Book Review

Welcome to this article, where I will be discussing the novel “Appleseed” by Matt Bell. This captivating book comprises three distinct storylines that span different time periods and genres.

A Journey Through Time and Genre

The first storyline takes place in 1799 Ohio and follows two brothers—a man and a fawn, a mythological creature. Together, they traverse the untamed wilderness, planting apple seeds and immersing readers in a world of magical fabulism.

The second storyline is set in the near future, also in Ohio. Here, the narrative shifts towards an eco-sabotage thriller. The protagonists, eco-saboteur freedom fighters, find themselves pitted against a powerful corporate conglomerate experimenting with bioengineering and genetic cloning.

The third storyline is set one thousand years into the future—a post-apocalyptic frozen wasteland. The main character, a creature with human and goat-like qualities, navigates this desolate landscape while facing questions of identity and purpose.

A Genre-Bending Novel

What makes “Appleseed” unique is its genre-bending nature. It falls under the category of speculative epic, a term coined by writer Lincoln Michelle. In this genre, authors tackle significant issues like climate change while employing diverse narrative modes and time jumps.

Matt Bell’s novel effortlessly weaves together these three storylines, exploring themes of environmentalism, preservation, and the complexities of human existence. The richly detailed depictions of nature, both in the Ohio frontier and the future wasteland, showcase the author’s exceptional writing style.

The Power of a Million Small Efforts

By the end of the novel, a clear message emerges: instead of attempting to fix the entire planet at once, society needs to focus on localized efforts to restore and protect the natural world. The book offers a hopeful plea for individuals to take action in their own communities and reimagine new ways of coexisting with nature.

“Appleseed” is not only a novel of ideas but also a testament to the author’s passion for wilderness and untamed landscapes. It is a thought-provoking and enjoyable read, perfect for those who appreciate richly imagined worlds and imaginative storytelling.

If you have read “Appleseed” or other works by Matt Bell, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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