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Return of the Yggdrasil


Loved it! 😍

Funny, captivating and thought-provoking, this will make you rethink the way you look at trees.

What would you do if an alien species suddenly appeared and told you that eating plants was morally and ethically wrong? That plants had thoughts and feelings of their own? That you had to, somehow, learn how to photosynthesise sunlight to survive?

What would you do if this message were delivered via the inevitability that is the reality tv format?

I have to say, Return of the Yggdrasil handles this concept surprisingly well. Without sounding too preachy about it, the book spins a tangled web of science, comedy, and romance around the aliens in question that I was quite taken by.

The novel leans heavily on its character work to bolster this plot and boy howdy, does it do well in that department. Each of the main characters is impeccably developed, from Professor Niels Larsson to Jess Kelly to Matt Davis, and their supporting cast is a joy to read. The minor characters may be pure caricature, like Agent Cameron Peters and his crusade against the Yggdrasil, but it’s played more for comedy than for anything serious.

Rather, the heavy lifting is left up to Niels and his role as the leader of the Western Congress appointed by the aliens. As readers, we get to see a lot of him and what he feels about the aliens, from his awkwardness with Sif Acer, the chief spokesperson for the Yggdrasil, to his complex feelings about genocide and fighting back against the incursion of the less human-friendly sect of the species.

Admittedly, however, I did find that the environmental message was heavy-handed. After all, there are only so many ways you can be blunt about plant preservation and conservation before it begins to sound didactic. Additionally, it was quite annoying that the aliens were unwilling to be empathetic about the time it would take for wide-scale change to occur. 

That being said, Return of the Yggdrasil is a rather fun book if you’re looking for easy-going sci-fi that challenges your ideas about environmentalism and human-plant co-habitation. Definitely a must-read on my end.

Reviewed by

A lifelong reader, I've decided to share my opinions, my likes and my loves with the world. Fantasy and science fiction have long been passions of mine, but so has bringing minority voices to the forefront.

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About the author

M. K. Nadall lives in a windswept lighthouse in far, far away Tasmania. The author is a science PhD, ukulele luthier and the proud owner of a Wollemi pine. view profile

Published on September 16, 2020

120000 words

Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by