Composite Creatures

Shortlisted for the Golden Tentacle Award, the Kitschies 2022

Set in a society where self-preservation is as much an art as a science, Composite Creatures follows Norah and Arthur, who are learning how to co-exist in their new little world. Though they hardly know each other, everything seems to be going perfectly – from the home they’re building together to the ring on Norah’s finger.

But survival in this world is a tricky thing, the air is thicker every day and illness creeps fast through the body. And the earth is becoming increasingly hostile to live in. Fortunately, Easton Grove is here for that in the form of a perfect little bundle to take home and harvest. You can live for as long as you keep it – or her – close.

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But my favorite science fiction book of the year was “Composite Creatures” by Caroline Hardaker, a melancholic tale about a near-future in which a corporation gives a couple a very special creature to raise. The perfect comparative title is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go.” 

The Washington Post

Composite Creatures reads a little like a singular episode of Black MirrorYou’re introduced to a world very similar to our own, full of characters you’ll feel akin to, in situations you’ve experienced plenty of times. Then you’re suddenly upended in the most formidable way, wrenched out of your familiar comfort zone and forced to look at yourself and the world around you in a new, disquieting light. This is a story you won’t forget in a hurry (try as you might) and an exceptional debut novel from Hardaker.

SciFi Now

Hidden within the poetry and broken future are real instances of shocking science fiction and horror. All will be explained in Hardaker’s own style that is not quite like anything else you are likely to have read.

SFBook Reviews

More tender, complex, and introspective than perhaps the synopsis conveys, Composite Creatures is sure to be loved by fans of character-driven novels and eerily atmospheric tales. The reader will find themselves not so much pushing to reach the conclusion for the sake of finding out what happens, but rather simply going along for the ride, even as they may feel afraid to turn the page.

The Nerd Daily

Composite Creatures by Caroline Hardaker is a thought-provoking dystopian debut which continuously questions what it truly means to be alive in a dying world. Hardaker’s prose is pensive, melancholic and lyrical. We are all creatures made up of many parts, but which of those parts make us human?

The Fantasy Hive

Composite Creatures is such a hard novel for me to rate, as it is one of the most peculiar books that I’ve ever read. Angry Robot always has the most unique books and this is no different. Composite Creatures will have people thinking about this read ages after they’ve read it. I have no doubt that this book will land itself in the hearts of many; its poignant, smart prose and chilling atmosphere will leave you disoriented long after you’ve finished.

FanFi Addict

Composite Creatures - Caroline Hardaker