The bees by Laline Paull book review

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Note: All my reviews are spoiler free!

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.

Yet Flora has talents that are not typical of her kin. And while mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is reassigned to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. Then she finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous.

Enemies roam everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. But Flora cannot help but break the most sacred law of all, and her instinct to serve is overshadowed by a desire, as overwhelming as it is forbidden…

I was recommended this book by My book jacket @ Books and strips. And I’m so glad she did! If she hadn’t then I doubt I would have even noticed, let alone pick the book up and check the blurb out.

It isn’t my usual kind of book which makes me even more grateful as my goal for this year is to read more widely, (And stop being so neurotically picky!)

This is one of those books that I enjoyed, but can’t quite put my finger on why, but I shall endeavour to do so for you, my wonderful ducklings. (No, I have no idea why I just called you that, just go with it.)

But! Before all that, I have to profess my undying love for the book cover. Look how GORGEOUS it is!! It’s so simplistic, but it has to be one of my favourite book covers that I’ve seen recently.

Every time I picked the book up, I had to take a moment to gaze lovingly at it and stroke it. (No, that’s not weird. Ask any book lover. If they say yes, they’re LYING!)

This book basically follows Flora through her life and pretty much sums it up. To me, there isn’t some major conflict for Flora to overcome, not like other books I’ve read.

Yes, there are many situations and mysteries.,(Although, I didn’t find them that mysterious), but this isn’t a dystopian which is what I thought when I read the blurb. In fact, I couldn’t categorize this book. I could say fantasy, but even that doesn’t feel right to me. But I suppose the closest genres would be fantasy and Dystopian. It’s a story, OK?!

Despite that I was craving a little bit more of a stronger, more defined conflict, I still enjoyed this book. I was fascinated by the hidden world of a beehive. The different classes of each bee, the drones, Flora herself, those are the bits I loved to read. And I think it’s the main reason I enjoyed this book.

I get the sense this book is trying to convey a message. Now me, I’m a bit clueless with working out the underlying theme. You’d have to thwack me around the head, but my gut’s telling me this is about loss, and grief and moving on.

But, what do I know? It could be about rainbows and dancing unicorns. This is just my interpretation of it.

This book was a refreshing read. I think I enjoyed it so much because it’s so unique and different.

And the ending? Well, that got the most extreme reaction from me, but it ended perfectly. It could not have ended in any other way. This gives me an impression that the Author writes the story how it should be written rather than based on how much she loves certain characters ect.

It feels as if this was a labour of love for the Author. (I mean, all books are, but I feel as if this story came into existence for a specific reason.)

There’s obviously been a lot of research put into this book and the writing is done well, particularly considering this Laline Paull’s debut novel.

All in all, I’m looking forward to Laline Paull’s next book. I’m very excited and intrigued to see what she comes up with next. Hopefully something with a more defined goal for the main characters.

To sum up, Good writing, undefined plot, Amazing world description

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Stars: 4/6


25 thoughts on “The bees by Laline Paull book review

  1. MyBookJacket 17/02/2016 / 10:48 am

    Very glad that you liked it. I had similar thoughts. I really wish there was something driving flora. Even a passionate desire. Some independent thinking. Maybe she doesn’t feel the queens love! Something. Anyway, I stroked the cover so many times that if it were a magic lamp all my wished would have come true. Such gorgeousness. It’s the Julia Roberts of book covers. And I don’t mind being a duckling. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Combustible reviews 17/02/2016 / 10:52 am

      I think I would have liked some more characters too. She was very alone as a character. I know there were others, but they never stepped.

      I thought the wasps might have played a bigger role.


      • MyBookJacket 17/02/2016 / 10:56 am

        That sugary wasp in particular. I expected her to show up again. Upset that she didn’t actually.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Combustible reviews 17/02/2016 / 10:59 am

        Yeah, same here! I liked that wasp, enemies to friends kind of thing. *Gasp* Now I want to write that!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • MyBookJacket 17/02/2016 / 11:00 am

        Go write! I wasn’t thinking enemies but more like she makes flora rise up and tower over the others. Or something.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. emmakwall 17/02/2016 / 10:56 am

    Nice review, this sounds good! I like stroking books sometimes too though all my old favourites are falling apart now lol.

    Is this a Y/A book?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Combustible reviews 17/02/2016 / 11:00 am

      No, it’s not YA. I can’t define this book. Haha, but yeah it isn’t YA.

      Oooh, which are some of your favourites?

      Liked by 1 person

      • emmakwall 17/02/2016 / 12:05 pm

        I just wondered because it sounded a little bit YA and I do have a soft spot for YA books!!! It sounds good in any case.

        My 3 favourite books (which are all falling apart and water logged from ‘bath time’ reading) are:

        Starter for Ten by David Nicholls, All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills and The Diary of a Nobody by the Grossmith brothers.

        I love lots of books but those three I have read so many times and still enjoy over and over and over again 🙂

        I’m also very (VERY!) fond of the Harry Potter books 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Combustible reviews 17/02/2016 / 12:11 pm

        I love the HP books. I just did the sorting on pottemore and ended up with Ravenclaw. I thought I’d get Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw would have been my second guess. 😮

        I haven’t heard of anyone of those book How terrible of me. I’ve never been able to read in the bath!

        Liked by 1 person

      • emmakwall 17/02/2016 / 12:19 pm

        I read a lot more when I was younger to be fair. I’m lazier now and watch too much TV. But when I was a child and teenager I always had my head in a book. Always! I’d read anything back then as well whereas now I find I’m fussier.

        HP books are genuinely amazing. The films are good and well made but the magic is all in the books! I did the Sorting Hat on a phone app and ended up in Slytherin!!!!!

        I think Ravenclaw is a swell option (brainy!) and I’d never put you down as a Hufflepuff!

        I love reading in the bath. Though now I find myself going on my phone instead and playing games or looking on Amazon. It’s bad. I should read more 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Combustible reviews 17/02/2016 / 12:23 pm

        Everything you just said is me to a T too. I used to read everything too and now I’m super picky!

        It’s one of the reasons I started this blog. I’d slacked off from reading and hated that it’d got that way.

        The blog gives me structure. So I read at least two books a week and have slowly regained my love and enthusiasm for reading.

        Oooh, you should do the pottermore quiz and see what you get. it’s the official one!! \o/


  3. Film Music Central 17/02/2016 / 2:25 pm

    Wow this story sounds amazing just the kind of book I love to dive into, I need to check this out when I get the chance

    Liked by 1 person

    • Combustible reviews 17/02/2016 / 3:56 pm

      Hope you enjoy it! What are some of your favourite books? (Because I cannot resist asking everyone this.)


      • Film Music Central 17/02/2016 / 4:05 pm

        Oh gosh that’s a hard question to answer. I’m definitely a fan of epic fantasy (Lord of the Rings), historical fiction (anything by Sharon Kay Penman) and most recently post-apocalyptic fiction (S.M. Stirling is writing an awesome series about a world where technology stops working, it starts with Dies the Fire) Unfortunately I haven’t gotten to read as much lately as I would like to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Combustible reviews 17/02/2016 / 4:16 pm

        I know it’s a terrible question! >:D

        Oooh, I will have to check that post apocalyptic series out. It sounds fascinating.

        I’ve The hobbit and Fellowship of the ring and planning to read the rest this year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Film Music Central 19/02/2016 / 1:52 am

        I thought I’d let you know, I found a copy of the book and it really is amazing!


      • Combustible reviews 19/02/2016 / 12:10 pm

        Ahh, starting to get into the nitty gritty. P.S. Do you have twitter/goodreads so I can follow?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Film Music Central 19/02/2016 / 12:13 pm

        I do have Twitter! @filmusiccentral (there should be a follow link on the main page of my blog) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Combustible reviews 19/02/2016 / 12:20 pm

        I’m a master at missing that sort of information. :’D Thanks. I could have sworn I was following your blog and was horrified to discover I wasn’t! D:

        Liked by 1 person

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