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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  28 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

Kindle Edition
Published January 2nd 2020 by Black Rose Writing
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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  41 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
David Katzman
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Both traditional and experimental at the same time, The Undertones manages to defy expectations and charmed me with its understated wit and irony. What could have been a cutesy tale of anthropomorphic animals instead is pervaded by a melancholy tone, violence and political oppression. It’s like Animal Farm crossed with a noir detective story.

The Undertones is populated with very human animals. Not that humans aren’t animals…we are. But I mean the obvious—cats, owls, foxes, anteaters, Komodo drag
Rebecca McNutt
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 wat ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
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 he
sophie.connects.the.dots (on hiatus)
Basically, Zootopia meets...well, Zootopia.

Received in exchange for an honest review.

This was really interesting, actually. We meet Dane, our anteater main character, at a jazz bar. After a series of mishaps, he runs the road of political activism (view spoiler)

Intrigued yet?

I think this story is essentially a lesson--and if not a lesson, at least an observation of the current worl
Rick Harsch
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christ I'm tired--fourth night in 8 with 2 hours sleep. Rough stretch. But at least I had Undertones, a crime novel in which animals from tarsier to platypus populate the city, to read. Silly shit, right? Kid's stuff? Not if the authors simply run with the notion. The main guy is Dane, an anteater who's brilliant at math and jazz, and is addicted to ants, which are illegal, because where would we all be if animals remained carnivores? So he deals with withdrawal throughout much of the novel.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 hin
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a very innovative and original book: I throughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend! I couldn’t help but read it in two sittings, but believe without the distraction of family, I would have read it in one!

Animals are made to feel like humans which I felt added an almost Animal Farm feel to it which I really enjoyed. The plot itself was very well developed and portrayed well.

I also enjoyed the writing style and will definitely be keeping a look out for future works from this author!
Tristan Drue Rogers
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 roil
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ani
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 i
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

Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ev ...more
M.L. Little
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 anima
Jackie Anders
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Patricia Murphy
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
I.M. Redwright
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just wow. This story caught my attention since the beginning, an anteater being a guitarist? ok, keep going, I want more. And there was way more.

The story is full of witty and fun dialogues. The characters, despite being animals, are really human, this aspect in particular, reminded me to Animal Farm although in a different setting and story. But the way L.S. Popovich was able to make these animals behave like they were in a real society is to be applauded. If that was not enough, they are well
Neil Brunton
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Different is an understatement for this book,
Crime,comedy and nature come together to try
and solve the crime.
Ted Myers
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extremely original concept.
Csimplot Simplot
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!!!
KJ Kern
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent world building, fun characters, diligent plotting that pulls you through to the end. Really fun read. Best book I ever read about a jazz band with a numbat in it.
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
I received an advance review copy from Black Rose Writing through Netgalley; all opinions are my own and honest.

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 t
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.

Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.

Undertones is a book with a lot of ideas. So much is crammed in this extended allegory of a book. Music, college, maturing, drug addiction, corruption, racism, conspiracy theories, and plenty more. It's a novel that has something to say, and for the most part succeeds...though to differing degrees at certain points.

The first third of the novel is slow. And since there are so many characters (of so many different species), it's hard to keep track in t
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

I guess this qualifies as a sub-sub genre...putting funny animals into old fashioned Fawcett Gold Medal type books. In this one, an ant eater addicted to ants is part of a jazz band, and has to kick the habit, and get the girl.

Not bad if you like this sort of thing.
Sarah Trubee
Feb 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
I should have DNF'd this book instead of finishing it. The pacing was all wrong. I found it confusing, and I lost interest pretty quickly. This was simply just not the book for me.
Jean Frazier
rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2020
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L. S. Popovich is the author of UNDERTONES and THE ARDEN (forthcoming).

They have always been a cat person (a person who like cats, not a cat human hybrid).

Every house needs at least one room overflowing 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 Stories, Th

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