By Carl Slaughter: In 2016, accompanied by numerous rave reviews, Robert Repino launched his War with No Name series with Morte. The second book, Culdesac, came out in November 2016. In May 2017, he followed with D’Arc, a story with an even more ambitious plot, and also accompanied by rave reviews. The series has been described as a mashup of the classic anthropomorphic tales.
The “war with no name” has begun, with human extinction as its goal.
The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Under the Colony’s watchful eye, this utopia will be free of the humans’ penchant for violence, exploitation and religious superstition.
As a final step in the war effort, the Colony uses its strange technology to transform the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters.
Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. But the true motivation behind his recklessness is his ongoing search for a pre-transformation friend—a dog named Sheba.
When he receives a mysterious message from the dwindling human resistance claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will take him from the remaining human strongholds to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the source of EMSAH and the ultimate fate of all of earth’s creatures.
PRAISE FOR MORTE
- “Morte is complex, beguiling, and often bloody . . . [An] utterly absorbing debut.” —The Boston Globe
- “Mort(e) catapults the reader into a wild, apocalyptic world . . . [Mort(e)’s] journey, set against the backdrop of an ideological war between pure rationality and mysticism, makes for a strangely moving story.” —The Washington Post
- “With poignant flashes of a morality tale, this debut novel makes us rethink our relationship to all of Earth’s creatures (since they may someday turn on us).” —Time Out New York
- “Marvelously droll . . . This novel is all kinds of crazy, but it wears its crazy so well.” —Slate
- “An epic science-fiction thriller . . . Mort(e) will stick with you long after you close the pages.” —Tor.com
- “Dealing with matters of dominance, loyalty, destiny, and justice, this engaging novel might have taken as its epigraph Alexander Pope’s famous couplet, “I am his Highness’ dog at Kew; / Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?” In the life of an uplifted cat, the reader sees his or her own quandary as a creature suspended uncomfortably halfway between nescience and angelic wisdom. [T]hought-provoking and tragedy-laden . . . Completely poignant and satisfying.” —Barnes & Noble Review
- “With sly references to Orwell’s Animal Farm, debut novelist Repino puts a nicely modern post-apocalyptic overlay on the fable of animals taking over the world . . . an engrossing morality tale with unexpected depths.” –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
- “Mort(e) is wonderful and weird, never saccharine and always startling.” —Cat Rambo, author of Near + FarI
The war with no name rages on, setting the world on fire. Humanity faces extinction at the hands of the Colony, a race of intelligent ants seeking to overthrow the humans and establish a new order. The bobcat Culdesac is among the fiercest warriors fighting for the Colony. Driven by revenge and notorious for his ability to hunt humans in the wild, Culdesac is the perfect leader of the Red Sphinx, an elite unit of feline assassins. With the humans in retreat, the Red Sphinx seizes control of the remote village of Milton. But holding the town soon becomes a bitter struggle of wills. As the humans threaten a massive counterattack, the townsfolk protect a dark secret that could tip the balance of the war. For the brutal Culdesac, violence is the answer to everything. But this time, he’ll need more than his claws and his guns, for what he discovers in Milton will upend everything he believes, everything he fought for, and everything he left behind.
Relentless, bloody, and unforgiving, Culdesac is the story of an antihero with no soul to lose, carving a path of destruction that consumes the innocent and the guilty alike.
PRAISE FOR CULDESAC
- “Repino imbues a startling sense of realism to a story about an intelligent cat’s desire to wipe out humanity; Culdesac’s story is not only tense and violent, but oddly emotional and touching.” —Tor.com
- “Have you ever wondered what might happen if you raised animal intelligence, stood them up, and made them human-sized? Repino has an intriguing answer. Culdesac is a great entry into his series.” —Steve Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Shadows of the Empire
In the aftermath of the War With No Name, the Colony has been defeated, its queen lies dead, and the world left behind will never be the same.
In her madness, the queen used a strange technology to uplift the surface animals, turning dogs and cats, bats and bears, pigs and wolves into intelligent, highly evolved creatures who rise up and kill their oppressors. And now, after years of bloodshed, these sentient beasts must learn to live alongside their sworn enemies—humans.
Far removed from this newly emerging civilization, a housecat turned war hero named Mort(e) lives a quiet life with the love he thought he had lost, a dog named Sheba. But before long, the chaos that they escaped comes crashing in around them.
An unstoppable monster terrorizes a nearby settlement of beavers. A serial killer runs amok in the holy city of Hosanna. An apocalyptic cult threatens the fragile peace. And a mysterious race of amphibious creatures rises from the seas, intent on fulfilling the Colony’s destiny and ridding the world of all humans.
No longer able to run away, Sheba and Mort(e) rush headlong into the conflict, ready to fight but unprepared for a world that seems hell-bent on tearing them apart.
In the twilight of all life on Earth, love survives, but at a cost that only the desperate and the reckless are willing to pay.
PRAISE FOR D’ARC
- “From Cordwainer Smith’s Underpeople to David Brin’s Uplifted dolphins; from Puss in Boots to Brian Jacques’s Redwall, science fiction and fantasy are replete with sentient beasts, some more humanized than others. But there has never been another series with quite the punch and heft of Robert Repino’s War With No Name saga. Its visceral palpability, hypnotic fatedness, and emotional gravitas make it the War and Peace of beast fables. The latest installment, D’Arc, carries forward the future history of this posthuman world with searing action, unexpected twists and brilliant new characters. Think Margaret Atwood crossed with Robert Stone, and you are maybe halfway to Repino’s virtues.” —Paul Di Filippo, author of Lost Among the Stars, Ribofunk and A Mouthful of Tongues, among others
- “Think The Fantastic Mr. Fox, with advanced weaponry. Charlotte’s Web, with armed combat. The Wind in the Willows, with machetes. D’Arc is all this and way more besides. Weaving together threads from dozens of ideas, Robert Repino tops his Mort(e) with an epic allegory at once strange, frightening, funny, and altogether remarkable. Repino’s dog, cat, and beaver soldiers are nakedly real, as honest as any characters in modern fiction. As horrible as it may sound, may The War With No Name never end.” —Corey Redekop, author of Husk
- “The War With No Name series isn’t quite a parable, nor does it rely on its novel concept to break ground. These books, intellectual yet elusive, brutal yet tender, imagine what would happen if the natural order of our world were to be fundamentally disrupted. D’Arc in particular takes Repino’s conceit to its next stage of evolution. Herein, ocean beasts rise from the deep in search of war, giant spiders terrorize assiduous beavers, animals and humans are in the thick of a battle not just for dominion, but extermination. It is for these reasons and more that I get so excited when I see another entry in the series approaching the shelves. Repino isn’t just one of the best writers of his generation, he’s one of the most exciting, brave, and unexpected. D’Arc won’t just delight your senses, it will change the way you think about storytelling.” —Samuel Sattin, author of Legend and The Silent End
- “Inventive and astounding. D’Arc maps the aftermath of the ‘war with no name’ and the attempts of wizened old warrior Mort(e) and his long-lost love, the dog Sheba, to find some kind of happiness for themselves even as unimagined dangers threaten from the deep. Robert Repino’s Orwellian saga is at once brutal and hopeful as it explores post-war life, love in all its forms, and what being a person—a new person, in a brave new world—truly means.” —Katharine Duckett
- ?”?Repino’s third novel in the War with No Name series continues to deepen and expand the strange universe he’s created, one that still hasn’t settled after the upheaval of a war between ants, animals, and humans.?”? ??— B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog
- “Fantastic . . . Well-drawn characters and emotional heft are hallmarks of this unusual series about the power of myth, love, and redemption in a dangerous time.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review