✰✰✰½ Welcome to America in the not too distant future. It's a very different place from the world power we take for granted today. It's a world where artificial limbs and an energy shortage are the norm. The main mode of transportation is now walking or biking. Cars are a rarity as are steak dinners and coffee.
Bridget, the biology grad student, has come to Gower, Colorado to study a pond full of frogs that are reproducing normally, another rarity in this world of the future. As she sets up camp she quickly gets caught up in the town's antics. Land owner Stacey Elder's son, Cole, quickly latches onto Bridget as he considers which religion to declare. The only 'doctor' in town is the veterinarian, Dr. Glaspie, who is also the school principal. There's also a mountain man and Darla, the town's resident wacko.
As Bridget settles in to study another pond of mutant frogs, things start to get interesting. This book has a little bit of everything from puppy love to adultery. Meanwhile, the residents must always be on the look out for Special Forces agents lest they say the wrong thing and suddenly disappear.
The Bottom Line: Don't let the title turn you off from this absorbing quick read. Phillips has created a kind of post-apocalyptic world for the reader to contemplate. This book will stay with you for a while as you consider global warming and a very different kind of world where China is the superpower instead of the United States of America. Phillips' quirky characters were my favorite part of the book. Recommended for adults who enjoy science fiction; the book includes some strong language.
I received this novel from Concord Free Press in exchange for a donation. Concord Free Press is different from other publishers. They give away free copies of new books. I've been trying to get one of the free novels offered by Concord for over a year. I was lucky to get one of the 2,500 copies of "Rut" available. At the time of this posting a few copies are still available on their website. While the book is free, they ask that you donate to a charity and pass the book along so that the giving can continue. What a great idea! As for doing my part I donated $30 to the Dubuque Regional Humane Society and have passed my copy along to a friend. If you are interested in the program, check them out on their website: Concord Free Press
Details: Rut: a novel by Scott Phillips. Paperback published by Concord Free Press in 2010. 233 p. ISBN: 978-0-9817824-4-7