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Undertones

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4.50  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Dane was a reliable guitarist until he got addicted to ants. Now he’s just a giant anteater with an abysmal grade point average. On a date with lead singer, Serena, they witness a gruesome incident. Waking up in the hospital, Dane realizes Serena’s missing. Going to the police only gets him a felony for possession of ants. Now, forced to lick the habit while he tracks down ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 248 pages
Published January 2nd 2020 by Black Rose Writing
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Average rating 4.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  22 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Jon Nakapalau
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Surreal and innovative - reminded me very much of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and Mikhail Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog. The author takes the protagonist on a two fold path of discovery - who am I and what is happening to the person I am becoming. Truly original and deeply layered - recommended.
Rebecca McNutt
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is hard to describe exactly. It reminded me of a mix between the films Zootopia, Hard Core Logo and Pulp Fiction, but it's got its own brand of originality which can't really be placed in one particular category. Undertones is funny, riveting and avant-garde all at the same time, and follows the adventures of Dane, an anteater with a bad habit which is uprooting his whole life. While out with Serena, his lead singer, they come across a pool of blood and an attacked elephant, and he ...more
George
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“A dirty undercurrent runs through this sparkling civilization. And Serena got swept away in it.”

If instead of writing fables Aesop wrote a kind of noir novel with a soft spot for jazz then Undertones might be just such a book. L.S. Popovich’s creation is a zoological romp through conspiracy and intrigue. The main character is a green-haired anteater who plays in a jazz band called Undertones and is struggling with an ant addiction problem. Like me, you might wonder, Why is it an addiction if it
...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This was a pretty enjoyable book, with a nice mix of mystery. If you like worlds with sentient animals (i.e. Zootopia) then this is a good book for you. Different species of animals live together in a world with technology equivalent to our own, and through the book there's some exploration of animal instincts and behavior, that I would have liked explored more in depth.

I know I shouldn't be putting too much thought into how animals came to have human technology (same as Zootopia) but I can't
...more
Tristan Drue Rogers
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I first started to read Undertones, I was expecting some sort of riff on Zootopia and the ilk, but was pleasantly surprised that once I was able to peal back the base layer of reading a book about anthropomorphic animals that there is some real distinct noir flavoring here. And all the jazz, too.

It's easy to tell that the writing duo really love their characters, even the unsavory ones, with sharp dialogue, introspective narration, and really chewy line descriptions like, "Dark clouds
...more
Kim
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wild (life) ride! Ha!. I'm not usually a fan of making comparisons in book reviews but this book reads like a crossover episode of Bojack Horseman meets Daria.

I'll admit I found the beginning a bit daunting due to trying to remember what animal each character was, but the author does a great job at reiterating this throughout the novel in case you forget each species. It's not really a big deal except when some of the smaller plot points reference species specific capabilities or
...more
Xilance
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Funny, endearing, and Thought-provoking. A story that transcendence the tropes of anthropomorphic animals doing human things by immersing the reader in rememberable characters living in a world that's light cast the shadows of our own.
Kym
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you've ever imagined what kinds of instruments animals might play or how they would interact with each if they lived in a human-like society, this might be the book for you! From the opening lines, the reader is immersed in a world of anthropomorphic animals that play in jazz bands, attend college, and where all kinds of birds and animals live and work together. The characters are well developed, and the creative world-building is carefully thought out and surprisingly believable.

Undertones
...more
Victoria
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just like our world, things are always corrupt.

An underground jazz band leads an anarchy movement to overtake a lying food corporation and the mob all lead by a magpie.

The animal kingdom is trying for harmony and to become civilised like walking on two legs and not eating each other. Of course some are going to slip up every once in awhile and grab some ants or get a hold of some black market meat.....

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC


Jackie Anders
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a unique read!!

A teenager that is a giant anteater who plays in a band and is addicted to ants. It is very rare that I read something so unique and outside of the box. Even though, I doubted at first that I could continue because it wasn't my usual go-to, I was so surprised. The characters make-up only added to the special aspects of this book, but I don't want to say too much about that without spoiling the experience. And that is huge for me - the experience!

So after we get familiar
...more
M.L. Little
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like Zootopia for adults, Undertones is clever, innovative, and remarkably fresh. I honestly have a hard time describing it. It feels very surreal, a little dark, and deeply plotted. It's about addiction, mobs, mystery. And don't forget every character is an animal.

It would almost be easy to forget they are animals, in actuality. They attend college classes, they crave coffee, they lose themselves in music, they smoke and kiss and fight and wrestle with moral decisions. This is not a cute
...more
Patricia Murphy
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
I was so impressed with the thoughtful inventiveness of Popovich's stunning novel Undertones. It is a wonderfully surreal study of relationships, and goes in depth into key themes such as violence, bullying, and "isms." The characters are well developed and the world is well built. It is a must read.
Niko
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A quirky and funny noir adventure for kids and young teenagers. A colorful work with personality. Dane, the leading man, is a headstrong guitarist with a set of bouyant pals, a vivacious on-and-off lover, and an electric jazz band who upset the chessboard of the dark underworld so close to their university lives.
The mystery hits (a little violently) about halfway in the story, and until then we enjoy getting to know these kids and how they negotiate the social pact around them. (They're all
...more
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
3.5 stars

This was definitely ... interesting. I don't read many books featuring anthropomorphic animals, let alone books where their physiological and evolutionary differences are so thoughtfully examined and incorporated into the story. While animal-society-as-allegory certainly isn't a unique premise, Popovich has constructed a fascinating narrative.

My rating boils down to the fact that this is stronger as social commentary than entertainment; this is totally fine if it's what you're looking
...more
Kristina
Loved it! The anthropomorphic characters were brilliant but once you looked beyond those there was a cracking good story as well. Highly recommended if you like your books just a little weird and a little dark.

Paul
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Undertones is an entertaining and ironic book, spinning a tale of shimmering light and surprising darkness in a slightly skewed world that is not nearly as benign as it seems. Bold, well-drawn characters of every possible species struggle to deal with bad habits, artistic passions and with their own animal instincts. I was impressed by the way the author manages to wrap a story of friendship and personal sacrifice inside such a stylish mystery. Noir is a tricky genre to navigate successfully, ...more
Sarah
Jan 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Did not enjoy

I really did not enjoy reading this book. I should have DNF the book. The pacing was all wrong. I kept having to back track to figure out how the characters got to certain points at the beginning of each chapter. I also really wasn't able to get a sense of the characters. By the end of the book I just didn't care. I was left bored and confused by this book. I would not recommend this book.
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Jan 16, 2020
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Jan 16, 2020
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Nov 11, 2019
L.S. Popovich
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L. S. Popovich is the author of UNDERTONES and ECHOES FROM DUST. They have always been a cat person (a person who like cats, not a cat human hybrid).

Every house needs at least one room completely crammed with books, so they believe. (Other rooms should contain scattered piles.)

Their short stories and poems have appeared in Chrome Baby, Havok, Aphelion, Bull & Cross, Red Fez, Bewildering
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