ARC Review: Animalis-John Peter Jones

Palm or hand print isolated on whiteGoodreads/Amazon

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 When God created man, He gave him dominion over the Earth.

When man created the Animalis, they decided to take it back.

One hundred years ago, a mad Russian billionaire unleashed the Animalis. Their intelligence and rough humanoid forms granted them basic human rights, and humanity seemed willing to share dominance over the Earth with them. But when the economy crashed the Animalis became an easy victim to blame and hate.

Now, Earth is in turmoil. A deadly conflict rages between humans and the genetically engineered Animalis. Jax Minette has followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the army. However, unlike his father, Jax plans to be a hero.

When Jax is sent to recapture the machine that created the Animalis, he finds himself following Hurley Grimshaw, a red-head who has her own plans, and envisions what Jax thinks is an impossible future: one where the Animalis and humans live together in peace.

To save the future of mankind, Jax must understand the motivations behind the Animalis. Every human who gets close to the Animalis has met a terrifying fate: the arena. In the arena, the strong devour the weak. No human has ever stood a chance.

Until now.

Animalis is a sweeping young adult futuristic action adventure. John Peter Jones’ first novel is an imaginative and hopeful vision of the future, saturated with deep moral questions that will leave readers thinking for years to come.

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3/5 Stars

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review via the author


  • The arena is like gladiator battles between men and hybrids. It’s fierce, violent, and graphically gory. The action was intensely detailed. Each bite and lunge was powerfully written. The anticipation is a mounting burst of adrenaline and terror. Jax’s fear is real, every ounce of pain and suffering is mirrored in the reader.
  • Jax is complex. He feels strongly about honor, so much so that it rules his life. But when he’s tested, his convictions start to waver and he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Questions about the humanity within the Animalis, within himself, and what it means to be human are particularly profound. As Jax struggles to figure out where he stands on the Animalis, we too are forced to question what it means to be good or evil and the fine line between the two.
  • The mystery of the two rat creatures, the budding romance, and the role of the pyramid are all thwarted by the quest to bring down the illicit arena. There are layers upon layers of plot that flow into one grand source of scientific wonder. 
  • Misha and Hodge are small but unique characters. Delving into their psyches and inner turmoil brings out their humanity and it’s through these Animalis that we see what humanity is worth. Hodge is off-kilter but hilarious. He makes funny comments and is weird without even realizing it. Misha’s story is tragic. The section on her life and memory was one of the most poignant. 


  • The ending is a tripped out, convoluted and full out confusing bit of science fiction meets divine. It’s weird, disturbing, and doesn’t make much sense. Plus, each fact and memory is right on top of the other so that it’s an overwhelming influx of genetics and supernatural? 
  • Animalis reads for an audience much older than YA. It’s very sci-fi and the interactions between characters are mature to the point that it feels more like adult science fiction/fantasy. 
  • Some sections are inordinately long without much happening and others are so action-packed and semi-philosophical that it’s hard to get into. There’s not a great balance. 
  • Explanations about the Animalis, how they came into being, their animosity with the humans, especially from the human side are only inklings, I would have liked more insight into the motivations for war and the surge in technological advancement. 

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71wKyEyF4hL._SX80_Amazon Author Page/Facebook

With a background in art, animation, film, and video games, John Peter Jones brings a unique and refreshing perspective to the science fiction genre.   He studied computer animation and traditional art at Brigham Young University’s award winning Animation Program and helped in the production of two Student Emmy award winning shorts.

John Peter Jones (Peter) was born in Rigby, Idaho and grew up roaming the desert country by his house with his siblings.   At the age of eight, after breaking his leg while taking on two friends in a game of chicken on the monkey bars, he dictated a short story which his mother dutifully transcribed.   It was a horror tragedy that required the best of his monster drawing abilities to illustrate.

Peter is currently twenty eight years old, is happily married to the love of his life, Katheen Petra Jones, and is working from home as a part-time stay at home dad with his four crazy kids.   His first full length young adult science fiction novel, Animalis, went on sale October of 2014.

Pleasant reading, 

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