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3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Young Alex is a slave. But recognized for his potential as an Animist, he is bought by his college and begins rigorous training. Now, Alex must begin his quest for his Anim-the animal with whom he will bond.

Alex hopes it will be an extraordinary creature that will help him earn the money he needs to buy his freedom. Unfortunately, his Anim turns out to be . . . well, not n
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 15th 2001 by Tor Books (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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James Steele
This is a decent, unfocused read. Alex, the main character, is a good guy who can’t seem to make any real difference. He's a student of magic, learning to be an animist, on a quest to find his animal companion. His quest goes horribly wrong when he bonds with a rat.

However, Alex’s bond with his rat (named Mote) needs to have more importance. It’s easy to forget he’s an animist because he has this great magical connection with an animal, but seldom uses it. It only comes in handy once, maybe twic
This is a pragmatist's talking-animal story, more like what I imagine vet school to be than like The Golden Compass. It's animals aren't romanticized; indeed, if an Animist accidentally bonds with an animal destined for the dinner table, euthanizing the creature is considered the kindest thing to do. Reading the reviews, I find that I'm undecided on whether this is not so much a parody as a sort of politicized anti-Pullman. It mixes magic with science in a world where a few people are wising up ...more
Normally I don't much like and don't usually read the magic/sorcery or sentient animal species variety of fantasy. (The exception, of course, being Tolkien.) Since this novel combined both, it wasn't something I would have ever chosen for myself. The best thing about BookCrossing, however, is being exposed to books outside one's normal comfort zones. And when a fellow BookCrosser sent it to me as a surprise, well, of course I had to give it a try.

This book surprised me. I actually enjoyed it. An
Matthew Bryant
Nov 10, 2012 Matthew Bryant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read Villains by Necessity, I was thrilled when Animist came out. At first I was a bit confused... it seemed weak, but the writing was intact. After a few chapters, however, I realized what Eve was doing - making a parody of common fantasy cliches of the time, but creating an awesome story in the process.

I was sad that she only ever published two books, especially because Animist ends with so much room for expansion; something that will probably never come about.
Nathan Burgoine
Sep 22, 2014 Nathan Burgoine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meet Alex, an "animist." He has abilities to sense into the magickal Oether, and see spirits and magick all around him. He has graduated from the Animism college, and is going out into the world to find his "Anim," a specific animal he will bond with and with which he can open up his full potential of magickal ability. He was sold to the college as a slave, and as such, has to earn money to pay them back to earn his freedom.

Alex is a delightful character, an innocent and rather naive kid who has
A solid story about a young slave that must go on a quest to find his animal partner and then come back to work off his purchase price. The mishaps start when he accidentally bonds to a short-lived and unintelligent rat.

I kind of want to give this 4 stars because I liked certain atypical story elements. A good example is the style of ending. I will not give up the ending, but I will say I liked the way it ended. It was a merely satisfactory (a not unhappy, but not a happy) ending that showed the
Apr 23, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Villains by Necessity, I was on the hunt for another Eve Forward book. I finally just had to buy my own copy, as they're now so rare.
As it's her first book, I understand that it's not quite as polished as later ones. The beginning just held a lot of new world information that was hard to absorb all at once. I did however enjoy her character development and the views on discrimination.
It was nice to see Alex turning a burden into a benefit. He made mistakes, as does everyone, but
Brian Jeffreys
The book was well crafted and enjoyable to read, but the story was obtuse and the bungling, main character lacked that certain charm that makes you care whether or not they succeed. I am a huge fan of Eve's earlier novel, Villains by Necessity (which is in my top 5 books of all time--I cannot recommend that one enough!) But this one was merely so-so, because of the twin city story arcs that were convoluted and just not that enteraining. It did have some cute and humorous plot twists, such as how ...more
Laura Baugh
Oct 09, 2008 Laura Baugh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: clicker trainers who like fantasy
Shelves: fiction
I wish this had been better.

I very much enjoyed Eve Forward's book Villains By Necessity and was glad to receive this one as a gift. I was even more pleased to see that Forward had done some research on animal training, setting true behavior science and operant/instrumental conditioning in a less-advanced fantasy world. As a professional OC trainer myself, I was thrilled to see it being used well in fiction.

Unfortunately, the plot wasn't enough to sustain this book. There were moments of excell
Oct 28, 2014 Aelvana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked it up at the last library sale because I've seen it in bookstores and liked the cover, and it sounded interesting. It was not what I expected, but most of that was in a good way. Watching how one fresh college grad can destabilize two nations was amusing, and the fight scenes were generally well-done. The autopsy at the end had me howling with laughter. But there were a few things I thought were rather unneeded: the main villain's reason for going insane and killing everything he could ...more
Caroline Maguire
I waited for the sequel to this book after the first time I read it in 2002, and eventually forgot about it. I found it in a box of books waiting for sorting and reread it. I liked the retelling of a popular children's tale reframed in a sci-fi/fantasy world. I can definitely see where the appeal to this book was to me 12 years ago. However, some of the plot lines were a little thin, and I ended up not really liking the main character -- maybe because I am not a teenager anymore. If Ms. Forward ...more
Feb 10, 2015 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I loved Villains by Necessity, but this book was really disappointing and all over the map. I struggled to connect with the characters, and then I would, but then they would do something dumb, and it was just a frustrating experience over all. There were definitely some moments towards the end of the book that were fantastic, but the plot was so inconsistent throughout. The writing style in book also bugged me a lot of the time (again it was very different from Villains) and while that shouldn't ...more
Jul 29, 2016 Meaghan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Going into this book I did not know what to expect, based off the back cover I thought it was a interesting concept. I found however, that it was lacking. Certain parts of the story seemed choppy and filler while other sections were drawn out. I still think the idea of the book is interesting and it could have been expanded upon because it lacked the magic that it was about.
Aug 02, 2012 Renee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting idea, but it fell flat at the end and kind of had a weak beginning too. there were characters you thought you would get to see again and then didn't and plot points that were tied up in a haphazard manner. I loved that he got an uncommon animal for a anim, very confused as to why she wasn't pictured on the cover.
Oct 02, 2007 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book was good. It was interesting in that it showed the hero not always doing the right thing, but only what the best thing was that he could do at the time, and then having to live with what he had done. It gets a bit odd and hard to follow in parts but is overall well worth reading.
I liked the premise but I didn't enjoy the book. I thought the main character, Alex, was unlikable (inconsistent, unengaging, bland, uninteresting) and the style of writing was unconvincing and awkward at times.
Mars rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2011
Kylie rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2012
Megan Graham
Megan Graham rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2015
Psycheen rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2009
Mystika Deshnol
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Aug 09, 2016
Anka rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2015
Karen Haigh
Karen Haigh rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2012
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May 08, 2009
Mackenzi rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2011
Doug rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2014
Lijo rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2012
Vassily Khourinov
Vassily Khourinov rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2013
5y1v4r rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2009
Jaydee Faire
Jaydee Faire rated it it was ok
Mar 30, 2008
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Eve Forward is an author and television screenwriter. She is the daughter of the late American physicist and popular science fiction author Robert L. Forward,[1] and the sister of Bob Forward, also a writer and film director.
More about Eve Forward...

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