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The Many Selves of Katherine North

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  397 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
When we first meet Kit, she's a fox.

Nineteen-year-old Kit works for the research department of Shen Corporation as a phenomenaut. She's been “jumping”--projecting her consciousness, through a neurological interface--into the bodies of lab-grown animals made for the purpose of research for seven years, which is longer than anyone else at ShenCorp, and longer than any of the
...more
Paperback, 353 pages
Published July 2nd 2016 by Bloomsbury Circus (UK & ANZ) (first published June 7th 2016)
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Heidi The Hippie Reader
In The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen, humanity has harnessed the power of consciousness and mechanized the ability to place that consciousness in different bodies at will.

Katherine is a teenager who works for a large research company. She’s the longest lasting “phenomenaut” (person who’s consciousness is put into the body of an animal) because she seems to be special.

The process of consciousness transfer seems to stop working when the brain ages and loses its plasticity. Despite he
...more
Emma
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
As soon as I saw the blurb for this novel, I was in. Using advanced technology, certain people can ‘jump’ their consciousness into lab created animals (Ressy/Ressies), to monitor and learn from their behaviour. Even before reading the brilliantly imaginative illustrations of human-as-animal created by Geen, this was appealing. Who wouldn’t want to know how it feels to howl with wolves under the moonlight, or steal chips out of unsuspecting human hands like the sneaky seagulls of the English seas ...more
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Foster
(Nearly 3.5) In her work for the shadowy ShenCorp, Kit projects herself into the lab-grown bodies of all kinds of creatures – especially foxes but also everything from spiders to seals – to better understand animal behavior. An inventive but somewhat disorienting debut novel. Like a lot of speculative fiction, it combines believable technology with far-fetched scenarios. There’s a lot of made-up jargon that can initially be a challenge to plow through, but once you get the hang of it you can sus ...more
Carolyn
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, sf
I loved the premise of this very original debut novel. Set at a time slightly in the future where climate change is threatening endangered populations of animals, humans have developed the ability to transfer their consciousness into 3D synthetic living breathing animals. This allows them to live as that animal for short periods and mix with wild populations to study their habitat and ability to find food. Teenagers are generally recruited for this research as their brains are most plastic and a ...more
Lisa Lemons

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for the ARC!

The Many Selves of Katherine North caught my eye because of the beautiful cover. I have an affinity for foxes, sci-fi, and female leads. The cover alone ticked all of those boxes for me and the synopsis pulled me in the rest of the way.

What does the fox say?

Katherine North, aka Kit, is a phenomenaut. In this universe, what that means is that she can project her consciousness to other animals. Basically, her human body is hooked up to a machine that takes care

...more
Lauren Hinkle
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I'll post my review closer to the release date, but this was such an engaging story. It's always such a pleasure to pick up a debut novel and enjoy it because you know there are many good stories yet to come from the author. Would recommend.
-----Review Update--------------------
Ever since I finished this book, I have, honestly, had dreams at least every other night about being an animal of one sort or another. And I feel like I keep seeing foxes everywhere! Stuffed animal foxes, cute pictures of
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Lolly K Dandeneau
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sometimes a body is all the language you need."

This sounded different from my usual reads, in fact from a lot of reads on the shelves. Teenager 'Kit' is a Phenomenaut , able to jump into the consciousness of lab animals, with the guidance and help of her partner to keep her anchored to her human side. Trouble starts when she begins work for the tourism dept. , where anyone can also jump into wild animals. What is gorgeous about this story is her time being animals, creatures. Emma Green did a f
...more
Megan
3.5 stars.

This is one of the strangest books I have ever read. You're thrown headfirst into a futuristic Bristol, where, for the purpose of zoological research Kit and her fellow 'phenomenauts' project their consciousness into the bodies of various animals. At ShenCorp, the company that Kit works for, all the phenomenauts are teenagers, with the idea that the younger you are, the more your brain is able to adapt and cope with the constant psychological transitions. At 19, Kit has been projecting
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Rob Forteath
Very early, this book clearly establishes its genre with:
- an innocent young person doing fascinating, ground-breaking work for The Corporation;
- flash-forward to her on the run from The Corporation, due to some Horrible Discovery that the police won't believe, etc.

Chapters alternate between the two eras for most of the book, with the bits and pieces gradually filled in. There are light mysteries thrown in -- Can she trust The Boy?; Who is the bizarre feral character? -- these add a bit of suspe
...more
Tasha
Apr 10, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: e-arc, 2016-release
DNF at 28%
I've been trying to read this book for probably two months now but I just cannot get into it. I feel so detached from everything in this book - the characters, the story, the writing.
The blurb of this book sounded quite interesting to me but I just don't think that this book is for me.

I won't be rating this book since I haven't finished it and I don't feel like I could give it a true rating.
Leah Bayer
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book that I love: slow, literary science fiction with a focus on animals. So many animals! We've got foxes, polar bears, tigers, seals, snakes, eagles, octopi, even spiders (it was hard, but I read the spider chapter. So proud of myself). The premise is that at some time in the future, humanity has discovered technology that allows people to leap consciousnesses and "live" in animals for extended periods of time. Our main character, Kit, is a phenomenaut who works in animal r ...more
fromcouchtomoon
A YA exploration of self in the context of other bodies and out-of-body. A very interesting premise with compelling relationships and tantalizing sensory information from animal perspectives, but it loses its sophistication in the YA form becomes unconvincing when evil boss and sketchy coworker and sketchy CEO scientist spend way too much time trying to maneuver this girl around in what's an obvious lost battle. Big bosses don't convince, they replace and move on.
rosamund
Feb 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, fantasy
Though there were some things I liked about this book, I can't justify giving it more than one star. The title is very clever, and so is the premise: it follows Kit, who can enter the consciousness of different animals and live as an animal. The author clearly spent a lot of time thinking about being different animals, and often she does a good job of creating the sensory world of snakes, foxes, octopuses, or birds. Another aspect that I liked is that Kit has spent so much time being an animal s ...more
Karen Barber
Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Katherine North spends her life jumping into the bodies/minds of animals, and the company she works for are considering ways to develop their technologies.
Such scientific advances will, naturally, explore ethical considerations and this is quite a leap into the unknown.
There is just enough of reality to keep the reader engaged and able to see the plausibility of the set-up, but it is quite a leap of faith to accept the reactions of key characters.
There's a lot of vocabulary linked to the procedu
...more
Tamara✨
FULL REVIEW TO COME!!

BUT I READ HALF IN ONE GO.

AND THEN FINISHED IT OFF HOURS LATER BECAUSE I COULDN'T SLEEP.

AND NOW IT'S EARLY MORNING AND I WANT TO YELL ABOUT THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Daniel Weaver
Starts out well but then begins to drag.
Peter Reason
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the imaginative near future context of this novel, the way Emma Geen portrayed the experience of different animals, and the complex plot that unravels through the book
Anna
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book. I got into the story almost straight away in the "but what happens next!" kind of a way, and then in the middle (or maybe a bit later) got annoyed by the foreshadowing that was done in a way that even a 2-year-old got the idea. Several times. "But now I know what he is really like, because I just know, did I say I knew already?!"

But other than that it was a very good book. It made me think about our world in a different way, and, for a book that seems to be mostly about
...more
Allie Riley
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proper review to follow tomorrow when I have clarified my thoughts. Fascinating novel which raises a lot of important questions. There was much that was disturbing here, too. I felt that the future presented here-in was dystopian in nature, really, even if the author didn't intend that to be the case (and I suspect not). While it would be interesting to project into an animal, to "wear their skin", ultimately I felt that it was wrong and would be, as is speculated here, psychologically damaging. ...more
Mirjam Celie
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
It's an amazing story.
I really recommend it.
Exciting, thrilling.
Very well done.
Jamie Wallace
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished listening to the astonishing debut of author Emma Geen. I wish I could remember who first told me about the novel, The Many Selves of Katherine North, because I would like to send that person a thank you note.

The reviews on this book use words like exhilarating, horrifying, compelling, and riveting to describe the story of a girl named Kit who is a phenomenaut – someone whose consciousness is projected into the bodies of lab-grown animals for research purposes. Readers quote
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Maggie Gordon
When you pick up The Many Selves of Katherine North it is not, as I expected, a thriller of any sort. The description made me think that Katherine was going to uncover a horrid secret and have to struggle to reveal it to the world. Well, that happens, but not in the way that I expected. Instead, readers are treated to a very creative and intellectual novel that really showcases what writers can do in the science fiction genre.

Emma Green has a background in psychology and philosophy, and this bo
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Belinda Lewis
This is difficult to rate.

It's a truly amazing debut novel; it touches on really large themes - animal sentience, our role in the ecosystem and the role of embodiment in identity. The vignettes of animal experience are just beautiful.

But the pacing is a bit off in the second half of the book and it drags.

And I found myself getting more and more annoyed with the main character for acting like such a child.

(She is indeed an actual child, so this seems unreasonable on my part).

But so much of the s
...more
Michael
Time to review this book.....It took me a couple of weeks to read it but only because I was very busy. The writing reminded me somewhat of Roger Zelazny. I read where he said he received a lot of rejections at first because he gave too much information about the story and characters when he introduced them. In this first novel by Emma Geen, she doesn't make that mistake but slowly brings the reader along introducing things slowly until everything is eventually revealed. Kit or Katherine North is ...more
Claire
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

This is a decent little book. The story is original and somewhat believable, the characters could use a little more fleshing out, but it's at least well written, with only a few mistakes that I think can be ironed out fairly easily.

I enjoyed the inRessy parts of the book, but I feel that the rest let it down a little. There was very little suspense, or emotion and I have to confess to feeling a bit bored most
...more
Maggie
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book sounded really interesting. The idea of transferring consciousness into another species sounded fascinating - and it was. The description of Kit's many selves is absorbing as is her character and it makes for a great story.

At times I found the narrative very confusing, which is why I didn't feel I could give this five stars. Nevertheless it is an absorbing, highly original read and I will be looking out for more by Emma Geen.

Thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read and revi
...more
Megalion
This book is a toss up for me.

The elements of it that makes me think of the movies: Avatar and Surrogates. And I enjoy all kinds of books with dystopian elements to it.

I just could not get into this one. Never quite got in sync.

Maybe it's a book I'd like better if I read it at a different time.

This is why I'm giving it a 3 even though I did not finish reading it. I believe others will enjoy this book as I wanted to. Typically these kind of books are 4 stars for me. Enjoyable reads.
BiblioPhil
The sort of first novel I like, ambitious and unusual. Perhaps she's not the finished article yet, but Emma Geen has a distinct perspective on the world, animal and human, that will be worth following.

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Emma Geen’s fiction draws on her background in psychology and philosophy. She is studying for a Ph.D. in creative writing at Bath Spa University, where she won the 2012 Janklow & Nesbit Bath Spa Prize.
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“What if the world is not one, but multitude, with as many ways of being as there are beings? What if literature were the opportunity to glimpse such refractions, thrown by the world as though from a diamond?” 1 likes
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