Review: Little Mushroom
|Author||Yi Shi Si Zhou (一十四洲)|
Massive amounts of body horror.
- Non-human main character who gives a unique perspective on what it means to be human.
- Really good body horror and suspense.
- Excellent exploration of ethical dilemmas and philosophy.
Don't be misled by the cracky premise and summary. This book is an incredibly poignant and suspenseful survival novel set in a post-apocalyptic world, where humans are constantly at risk from being infected by the mutated animal & plant species of the world and losing their consciousness/will. In this new society, humans must venture out from the base to gather resources, but every time they do, they risk attacks by monstrous mutated creatures and infection. Anyone who has been injured in the field and infected is subject to execution by the Judges, who have absolute authority over life and death.
The story follows a little mushroom, who gains human-like sentience after devouring a dying soldier. His goal is to infiltrate the human base in order to retrieve his spore, which had been taken from him for experimental purposes. In the process, he meets the most-feared and hated Judge on the base, who has the highest kill count and accuracy, and they develop an unlikely bond.
I love the little mushroom as a POV character, because of the alien way he sees the human world and the process of him learning about himself and his emotions. I love how the book explores the concept of the greater good, and the price one has to pay to achieve it. It really digs deep into the philosophy of humanity - is it worth it to survive as a species, if we lose all the good that made us human to begin with?
This is one of my top cnovels I've read in a long time, and I'd highly recommend this to anyone who's interested in post-apocalyptic survival as a genre.