Review: Hive by A. J. Betts



Publisher : Pan Macmillan Australia

RRP : $16.99

Source :  Publisher provided

Release Date : June 26th 2018


All I can tell you is what I remember, in the words that I have.

Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever known.

Until she witnesses the impossible: a drip from the ceiling.

A drip? It doesn’t make sense.

Yet she hears it, catches it. Tastes it.

Curiosity is a hook.

What starts as a drip leads to a lie, a death, a boy, a beast, and too many awful questions.


Tash M

The long awaited new novel from Betts was a bundle of surprises. Known best for her previously well received contemporary Zac and Mia. I was highly intrigued by this speculative offering give my past experience with her writing.

The heart of Hive is an alternative world that presents with many unknowns.  The protagonist Haley is the only reader’s connection to this world, she is the gateway to everything. Everything we learn comes from her as she goes about her daily life trying to remain normal as possible.  Constantly remind us the readers of this mysterious drip as she interacts with various  characters of this society.

Through her perspective we learn about this world which society lives by the old traditions forged with the new traditions.  Haley is the bee keeper, a role she was handed as a young teen which is her main role for life

Haley is  in her late teens, however her age is isn’t the defining element to this story. Her thoughts are . Govern by a society she was born into, it offers equality on many levels. Yet there are many restrictions that comes with the freedoms of being a woman in this society.

Bett focuses on this as well, given Haley’s daily life  trying to give a sense of the normal reality she is trying to claim back. The role of wife, is a highly desire position  govern  by the leaders of this society ties into this novel. As Hayley explores her thoughts, we learn how much she is prized in this society because of her age and skills.

Not as a human being who experiences a range emotions thanks to the situations she lands herself in.  Haley is what stops the book becoming stale. She constantly battles with her emotions and thoughts which challenge what she learnt to believe. It makes for a compelling reading as she tries her hard to act like any other young woman is expected in this society.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this book for a while, it takes a while to really sink it because of the way the book is written. It’s more  a daily journal for a while , focuses on the important aspects of the day. The interactions and  the drip drives the novel as she tries to tread the careful path of  keeping appearances.

It’s not mundane reading her every day moments, it’s almost lyrical in some senses because of the prose. Even so there something missing to give it an extra spark. There is potential but given what happens towards the end of the novel. The way the book is alluring to something even more sinister .  I’m not sure what to make of the end for now.

Bett’s return to YA , is not for the faint hearted. It’s surprising dark and will confuse readers. Hive is speculative fiction that has some promise, however I will reserve my judgement whether I will love this series or not for now .



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