The Tusks of Extinction

Spotify Audiobooks. Jan. 2024. 4 hrs. ISBN 9798368965208. $45.99. SF
This science-fiction thriller captivates with its quick pace and its ecological message. Once, Dr. Damira Khismatullina was the world’s foremost expert on elephants—until she was brutally murdered by poachers. Later, her digitized consciousness is downloaded into the body of a woolly mammoth recreated in a Russian lab. Now Damira is the matriarch of a recreated mammoth herd that has learned how to survive this new world. There are still hunters looking for mammoth trophies, however, and she is more than willing to protect her herd. Nayler (The Mountain in the Sea) moves this fast-paced story quickly and efficiently between the viewpoints of humans like Vladimir, who accompanies his lover Alexander on a mammoth-hunting trip, and Damira, now residing in a massive mammoth and slowly unlearning her human life. The stellar voicework of both Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki emphasizes the contrast between Damira fighting back in a way she couldn’t when she was alive and humans like Vladimir who are slowly, and with some dawning horror, awakening to humanity’s arrogance.
VERDICT This novel is made for fans of character-driven ecofiction like Lee Mandelo’s Feed Them Silence and Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower.
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