Rekindled by J. Malan Book Review

It is described as:
Twenty seasons’ hopes and dreams are dashed as the love Oakmore the kudu thought would last a lifetime ends. Down and out, he wonders if the Mammalæ megacity of Bridgend has any further use for him.

An incident at another dead-end job sees the buck thrust deeply into the ranks of the burgeoning workers union. He finds comradeship and purpose anew…but at what cost? The friendly eyes of a wealthy doe kindles a flame inside he thought would never burn again, but there is another fire: Greenfields-a pernicious human relic rediscovered that brings both hope and peril for a city on the brink.

Already in too deep-and too close to the truth-to cut and run, Oakmore finds himself cresting a revolution about to break. He will learn a valuable lesson.

Not all things lost are gone.

Featuring an all-anthropomorphic animal cast in a gritty post-human world, reKindled is a continuation of the Artisans and Opportunists saga first introduced in the author’s award-winning debut novel, reWritten.

The Plot
The story revolves around Islando Oakmore, a former mercenary now almost homeless. He owes rent on a place where being homeless would be better. There he lives with his beloved Lindela. Desperate not to see her homeless. He takes a job to steal some of the electrical cable for the brand new electrical grid which is being set up. Except things go wrong, 2 of the five are killed by high voltage. Also the whole thing was actually a Police Sting operating.

Next he winds of in prison that was built for the humans the once occupied this world more than 700 years earlier. There he meets Lindela once again and confesses what he tried to do. All as the guards want them to breed young for the carnivore table. Before being separated and brought to a judge where he is given a choice. Pay a fine or get 10 lashes. Since he has no money, he takes the lashes.
Now released from prison he wanders the street looking for a job. After being turned down multiple times he is eventually offered one shoveling coal on to a conveyor belt for the power plant. He gets a place a dormitory in a room he shares with others on the 27th floor. Eventually he meets an old friend Kentemade.

As things finally start looking better and giving him a chance to find Lindela tragedy strikes. A co-worker at the power plant gets caught in the conveyor belt and their legs are ripped away. Oakmore fights both his bosses and the guards. To have someone come and save their life. When this finally does happen he looses his job.

Eventually he makes his way with the help of a Union Newspaper doe named Kuyasa. To a bar called the Kremlin, where everyone is called Comrade. There he gets drunk and tries to find his way home.
Only to wind up in an ancient swimming pool where 2 carnivore are going after him, one armed with a machete. After it lands in his shoulder he fears the worse. Only to pass out and wind up in an ultra modern hospital where his wounds are treated. The only thing he hears of importance is the staff wondering why the carnivores attacked.

Another blackout and he winds up on the floor of the dormitory. Wondering if that really happened.
Oakmore is told to leave, with the help of Kentemade and the last of his pay he winds up in Watertown.

This is only the beginning so much happens to Islando Oakmore that you actually feel sorry for him. All he is trying to do is the right thing, but how can he when this world is seemly staked against him. Dealing with The Union, The Electric Cartel and the mysterious Greenfields, as well as the various employers he has. All of them having their own agenda as well as forces some of which are capable of murder. To keep it that way.

I am not trying to hide anything when I say it’s a dark depressing story at times. Islando Oakmore could be anyone of us, trying to make a living all the while trying to leave his old life as a mercenary behind.

This book has been tough for me to read as I have gone through the some of the same things as him.
But it draws me back again and again. All the while as Islando discovers another secret about this world where humans died off more than 700 years ago. You could see there hand in every sinking corner of Bridgend (the main city) in this story.

As I got nearer to the end of this 408 page novel, say in the last 100 pages or so will Islando survive or does this world finally put an end to his life. Especially after events that lead up to both a good job and meeting up Lindela went wrong.

Really it isn’t you around down to a handful of pages that a lot of stuff happens fast. Take when Islando actually finds Greenfields. Which as it turns out was a floating nuclear power plant. it also turns out it is the same place the coal and oil cartels were getting their namesake, This is also where we meet the lead character from the previous book Rewired, Professor van Elsburg . Who is now one of the power plant operators, so is Islando’s former girlfriend Lindela.

After 2 attempts on his life Islando makes his way outside where lead by his Captain friend (not his choice) Islando Oakmore is arrested on 9 murder charges. It’s not that is did the murders, it was made to look as if he committed those crimes. He is tortured by this one barbaric officer.

Then later brought to court where everyone knows Islando will die.

Then something happens, it will be a huge spoiler to say what.

Islando Oakmore is freed, charges dropped and encouraged to leave Bridgend forever. He decides to head to Alphaeton.

The Verdict

The world Jako Malan creates is like looking out our own window. Sure a lot of do not see the darker side of life, but it is so easy not to see it. There are people like the main character Islando Oakmore on the streets of any city. Struggling to find a job, a place to live that they can actually pay for, as well as hoping to have someone love them. As in the story time and time again forces are at work, or even their own mistakes drive them down to a point of being homeless, again and again. I am very said to say I have met more than my share. But the world the author creates goes well beyond this to a world where even after reading the previous book, where humans vanished more than 700 years ago. Where these mammalae as they call them struggle to make this world there own. Really has to be read and understood to a degree. Not all of us have a Professor waiting in the wings to save us. The ending just made me so happy.

With this in mind I give it an 8/ 10 not that there is anything wrong with Rekindled it’s just so damn dark.

Available from


Fenris Publishing

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