5 stars – Jean Gill
Paftoo’s world is an expanse of countryside destroyed by a futuristic theme park, in which he and his robotic co-workers do menial maintenance tasks and entertain the soulless visitors. Like all the best sci-fi and fantasy, this novel shows you aspects of the world we live in and makes you fear for its direction while reflecting on what really matters. I am totally in tune with Roz Morris’ fears and loves, which are presented in a story of page-turning paranoia as Paftoo struggles to regain his memories and evade the Big Brother style authorities.
What makes this story so different is the passion and knowledge about horses, Lifeform Three in a world which has lost all contact with nature. Paftoo’s grief for Storm, the horse he lost, his patience in bonding with the wild and badly named ‘Pea’, the details of training, are all portrayed with such love I’m sniffling at the memory. For me, it’s dogs rather than horses but what moved me was the importance of that human-animal bond.
Paftoo struggles with the memory loss imposed in ‘sharing’ and our society struggles with the bigger loss, of contact with nature itself. Beautifully, beautifully written, with head and heart.
For anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction and a must if you love animals, especially horses.