Book Review: The Hive by John Otte

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Zain is on the run to save her baby

A pregnant cyborg and a teenage boy fight against intergalactic governments to protect the unborn in this novel from Christy award winner John Otte.

Why is Zain pregnant? She belongs to the Hive, a collective of cyborgs who choose to live apart from the rest of human society. At times, the Hive rent out some of their females to produce tailor-made children for paying couples. But Zain is an engineer, not a breeder. When she finds herself separated from the Hive, she decides to find the person who she thinks ordered the baby. Surely they’ll help her find her way home.

Matthew “Scorn” Nelson has spent the better part of his teenage years cracking computer systems, causing mischief and havoc wherever he can. But the night of his greatest triumph turned into a painful memory, one he wants to erase. But that night was also his first step on a road to faith. When Zain arrives on his doorstep, Scorn is horrified. What’s he supposed to do with a pregnant teenage cyborg?

Unfortunately, he’ll have to answer that question on the run. Zain’s people want to reclaim her and terminate her pregnancy. And both the Ministrix and the Praesidium, two intergalactic governments in a constant state of cold war, want Zain’s baby for their own reasons. Will their enemies run them down? Or will Zain find a new Hive for both her and her child?

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The Hive turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. When I saw that the main characters were teenagers, I wondered if the book would be geared more for the YA crowd. Instead, I found a story that has a definite broad appeal. Especially with the mature topics discussed, it reads like an adult sci-fi/action/adventure novel. I was pleasantly surprised.

Even if someone was not usually a sci-fi fan, I think they would enjoy this book thoroughly. The technical jargon wasn’t too much, the world it is set in not too difficult to understand, and the governing bodies especially were easily relatable to the real world, the church specifically. There were some interesting parallels drawn.

Though it is technically a sequel, one doesn’t have to read Numb before reading The Hive. It is a stand alone novel.

The characters were well developed, and I found myself easily drawn into their world. While Zain and Scorn definitely learn some lessons on their journey, it doesn’t come off as preachy or unbelievable.

It made me want to read more, so I’m hoping for a sequel! I’ve added Numb to my reading list as well.

I would recommend The Hive without hesitation. I actually think it would be a great first sci-fi/space opera read for someone. It stays firmly within the genre without being too heavy handed.

Overall, a great read. I can’t wait for more from John! Preorder your copy today!

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