PODKIN ONE-EAR Bunnies vs the Borg
released 6 OctOber 288 pages | Paperback/ebook
Author Kieran larwood Publisher Faber & Faber
In the immortal words of Buffy’s rabbit-hating demon Anya: “Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes/ They’ve got those hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.” We suspect she’d be seriously creeped out by the hoppingmad bad guys in this children’s book, who are metal-infused, mind-controlled bastards assimilating everything in their path. All of which comes as a bit of a shock to little Podkin, who must leave his warren with siblings Paz and Pook when the nasty Gorm attack, killing any bunny in their path. With the Gorm after Podkin’s magical dagger, our furry heroes must fight not only for their lives but to save their world.
The good news is that despite the bloodthirsty villains, this is actually a surprisingly adorable kiddie tale that will leave sprogs considerably less scarred than Watership Down. It’s also beautifully illustrated. However, it does feel rather slight, with some background characters in serious need of fleshing out (particularly the acrobatic dwarf bunnies named Mish and Mash). As an introduction to a postapocalyptic rabbit world, though, it’s jolly good fun; although this particular story is pleasingly self-contained, expect sequels to breed like… well, rabbits. Jayne Nelson
The BBC and Netflix are making a new adaptation of Watership Down, with John Boyega and James McAvoy.