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Culdesac

(War with No Name #1.5)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  360 ratings  ·  65 reviews
The war with no name rages on, setting the world on fire. Humanity faces extinction at the hands of the Colony, a race of intelligent ants seeking to overthrow the humans and establish a new order. To achieve this, the ants use their strange technology to transform the surface animals into highly evolved killing machines who rise up and murder their oppressors.
The bobcat
...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Soho Press
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Kate No, you don't need to read Mort[e] first necessarily. It doesn't offer spoilers in the way that Mort[e] ends it sort of happens in a stand alone…moreNo, you don't need to read Mort[e] first necessarily. It doesn't offer spoilers in the way that Mort[e] ends it sort of happens in a stand alone segment of things inside that universe. It's a portion of what happened in a specific engagement in the war, but it doesn't occur as told from Mort[e]'s perspective but that of Culdesac. The only reason reading Mort[e] first would help you would be the background knowledge of who Culdesac is and what he means to Mort[e] himself - and of course why any of this would matter in the War with No Name. (less)
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Community Reviews

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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  360 ratings  ·  65 reviews


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Ashley Wells
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: the author is my boyfriend.
Lata
Culdesac was a particularly frightening character in the previous War with No Name story, Mort e . The Queen Ant had chosen to communicate with Culdesac, as described in book 1, sending him and his squad to take on and vanquish groups of humans. Robert Repino gives us some insight into Culdesac's pre-Change origin, which was, of course, pretty awful. Culdesac is grim and dark and frightening in this novella, unsurprisingly, and this tale occurs partway through that of Morte's tale. There are no ...more
Andrew
Culdesac, by Robert Repino, is a novella in the War With No Name series, and is a prequel of sorts to the first book, Mort(e). The book follows the feared leader of the Red Sphinx militant group, Culdesac, as he holds a small town against a force of humans during the war. Culdesac was a more feared character in Mort(e), a tough as nails bobcat who enjoys killing humans and is a loyal servant of the Queen.

For those have not read Mort(e), this series is about a war between giant ants and humanity,
...more
Rpaul Tho
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Repino's writing style. This was a perfect quick read that keeps up with the first book but also has a story of its own. Looking forward to reading D'Arc when it come out.
Megan (ReadingRover)
I don’t know about everyone else but I’m pretty obsessed with anthropomorphic animals so this series is my jam! Culdesac is an intriguing character to get to know because he was never a house pet. He lived a totally different life from Mort(e) and many of the other now sentient animals. I liked getting in his head to learn about his early life and how he looks at the world. It was interesting to see what he thought of Mort(e) and the others he commands. It was also insightful to see the thought ...more
Joe Lucarelli
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
great addition to the story.
Lisa
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This thoroughly satisfying novella allows us more time with Culdesac, one of the most compelling characters from Mort(e). It made me even more excited to read D'Arc!
J.A. Ironside
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Both a prequel of sorts and a companion novel to Mort(e), Culdesac tells the story of the fierce bobcat commander's quest to advance the Queen of the Dirt's war against humanity. I loved the first book and I really enjoyed this one despite some slight repetition. Culdesac is a less conflicted and therefore less complex character than Mort(e) and didn't win my heart in the same way, but Repino is no holds barred take no prisoners in his st
...more
Stefan
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm inclined to agree with other commenters/reviewers: quick read, digestible style, and interesting take. I personally dig the animalistic notes and hints mixed with the reasoning; it was pretty interesting. I actually bought this book because I had never heard of the author before, but I'll try the others in the series now.
Hengenaut Hengenautson
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this second installment of Repino's War With No Name series, we follow the brutal bobcat Culdesac as he prosecutes his case against humanity with revolutionary zeal. This is an adventure story told with a kind of relish of violent detail that needs the odd and dreamlike conceptual framework Repino provides to make it work. This book is doing something that's as surprising as Repino's willingness to tackle this upside down concept in the first place. What most surprised me about this and Mort( ...more
Thomas Hale
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
A novella about an anthropomorphic bobcat, a hard-bitten soldier whose squad hunt down humans for their giant ant Queen. The premise is silly, but the writing itself is orders of magnitude sillier: "grimdark" doesn't even scratch the surface. Swearing (complete with made-up fantasy slurs), gratuitous gory violence, and the kind of dialogue that would make a Breaking Bad fanfic writer wince. The recurring thought I had was that this book is like reading the prose adaption of an early-00s furry we ...more
Vaughn
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is a clear improvement for Repino as a writer and story teller. His imagery is more vivid and I felt the narrators voice was more compelling. The action scenes are also very well done. That said, there are a few moments when the sometimes poetic imagery was applied with a heavy hand, and a few times where we are blatantly told when the showing had already done the work, which was distracting.

This is still, however, a great read and definitely recommended for anyone who has read, or plans to
...more
John
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Culdesac is a great followup to Mort(e). The brevity of novella and the focus on a single point of view help to simplify the storytelling, amplify the action, and hasten the pace.

Repino builds suspense and unleashes twists in a way that feels both natural and unpredictable. When we first meet Nox, a domestic cat turned brothel owner, her affection for hot coffee distracts Culdesac (and us) from her true ambitions. She is a natural foil to Culdesac—two felines abused by humanity for different re
...more
Tonstant Weader
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Culdesac is a sequel to the thrilling and powerful Mort(e) that I read earlier this year. I loved Mort(e) and was so excited to read this second story in the revolution of the animals against humanity. Culdesac is the bobcat who leads Red Sphinx, the elite special forces that includes Mort(e) as his second-in-command. We don’t see too much of Mort(e) in this book other than his usual competence and loyalty to the revolution.

Instead it focuses on Culdesac, a cat whose never been a pet, or as he d
...more
Ronald Koltnow
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This slim volume is a prequel of sorts to Repino's MORT(E)., the second volume in the War With No Name series. The War, you will recall, is between humans and ants. The ants have wisely, and telepathically, recruited animals in their battle to do away with the scourge that is humankind, hunters, exterminators, and enslavers. Mort(e) is still a young recruit in the Red Sphinx, commanded by the former bobcat Culdesac. This is really Culdesac's story (as the title implies), as he reflects on his du ...more
Maria Haskins
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Culdesac is a novella that is set to fit within the story-line of Repino's novel 'Mort(e)', featuring the fierce bobcat Culdesac as the protagonist. It's set during the war against the humans, with the ant queen and Mort(e) both making appearances. It's a terrific read that keeps the raw and unflinching tone of the novel, while giving some backstory and insight into both Culdesac as a character, and the war effort. I especially loved reading the parts about Culdesac's past in the wild with his b ...more
Kris
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
This is one book in a series of books about a "war with no name" where the animals are transformed into intelligent beings with the Queen of the Ants controlling everything.

This novella is about ,Culdesac, a bobcat who controls a military group serving the Queen.

I have to say, although this novella is about war, it was well written and a better than expected read.

I guess I need to read Book 1, "Mort(e)". I didn't think reading Book 2 made a huge difference in my understanding and enjoyment of Bo
...more
Desiree
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved MORT(E), and this companion story did not disappoint. It takes place during the timeline of the previous book, but focuses instead on Culdesac the bobcat, leader of the Red Sphinx unit, with Mort(e) as a minor character.

Within this novella, we learn a lot more background about Culdesac's past, his interactions with the Queen, and his thought processes. It has the same mix of charm and intensity as MORT(E), which I find really endearing and riveting. Can't wait for the next in the series.
Vahid
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short novel giving a bit more on Culdesac, the general of the War With No Name, supporter of the mission of the Colony and devotee of the Queen. It starts out pretty gory, but it's a great, tight story, featuring Mort(e) and some of the rest of the crew during the war as they hole up in a city they've taken from the humans for a while.

Also I now insult my cat by calling him a "choker" thanks to these books, although he hasn't read them (because he is lazy, and probably also does not know how to
...more
Emily
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This interlude doesn't give us much new, I'm afraid. I read it because I picked up a copy of the second novel in the series and wanted to go in order, but I suspect I needn't have bothered. We get a look into Culdesac's murderous mind and also at some of the former pets who still have feelings for humans. Here's hoping the batshit nutsness of the world and the complexity of the multi-sided war will be back in the novel.
Maximilian Gerboc
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Super fun read. I like the idea of short side stories focusing on a tertiary character as a follow up to a main novel, and Culdesac in relation to Mort(e) is a perfect example. Besides the sheer entertainment of this story, it also explores pretty deeply the roots, causes, and outcomes of fanaticism, without passing much judgment, and the cruelty of war. If you read and liked Mort(e), you’ll certainly like this.
Kristy Engel
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Mort(e), and this was a great little novella to tide me over until the next installment in the series. Culdesac was not terribly likable in the first book, and while this story didn't do anything to make me like him more it did at least make him more understandable perhaps. It was an interesting glimpse into his back story. Still, Repino is a bizarrely creative author. I can't wait to read more.
Dani
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this for my 2017 Reading Challenge category: A book with a cat on the cover and I happened upon it randomly browsing Barnes and Noble. I didn't care for it because it seemed to have no real resolution. I now see online that it says #1.5 in a series. I wish I had known that before, it would have been less confusing (I assume) having read Mort(e).
Simon
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
A wholly unnecessary interquel between Mort(e) and D'Arc, which is supposed to make the character of Culdesac more relatable/deeper/more fleshed out. It does neither of these things, it retells some events from the first novel and it seems like a pretty pointless installment overall.
One can only hope that D'Arc will cover new ground and not be a retread like this one.
Hannah Givens
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
At first it seemed like just a story about Culdesac, which was disappointing after the larger themes and worldbuilding of the first book. But by the end the story about Culdesac had expanded the world and provided a chance to talk about some of the animal civilians, those less wild. Really good and a meaningful aside.
Kristin Duncan
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Maybe, I didn’t like this book because I didn’t read the book before it, Mort(e). But, honestly, maybe that isn’t true. The book was just weird and left me just thinking, eww... most of the time. I didn’t enjoy the concept of this book and maybe I can go back and start with the first and it will help my viewpoint. However, right now, no thank you.
David Cattarin
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
While not as good as Mort(e), the novella fills out the Culdesac's character, especially his attachment to the Queen. I wouldn't call him likeable, but he is a somewhat tragic character because of this.
Lance
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A quick read. A novella and worth the read if you are enjoying the series and wanting to learn a little more about some of the characters. I know not everyone enjoys these books but I am digging them so far. I like the different take on the talking animal kind of stories.
Jeka Bosworth
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Mort(e) and was looking for more from the War with No Name. When I found that there was a Novella out, I immediately ordered it.

It was okay. It’s not really necessary to read this to enjoy this series. I kind of wished I just waited to read the actual sequel than this.
Cara
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
If this novella showed anything, it was that Repino is clearly growing as a writer. If D'arc goes into any of the depth this 100 page short story did then its gonna be well worth the wait.
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Robert Repino grew up in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. After serving in the Peace Corps (Grenada 2000–2002), he earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Emerson College. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize among other awards, and has appeared in The Literary Review, Night Train, Hobart, Juked, Word Riot, The Furnace Review, The Coachella Review, JMWW, and the anthology Brevity and Echo ...more

Other books in the series

War with No Name (2 books)
  • Mort(e) (War with No Name, #1)
  • D'Arc (War with No Name, #2)