Book Reviews

The Night of the Sciurus * Linda Watkins

A cautionary tale about the consequences of environmental pollution…

They are part of our daily lives. We watch them from our kitchen windows and backyard decks as they scurry over the branches of our tall oak trees. We laugh at their antics as they furiously bury and unbury their precious acorns. Yes, they are part of our lives and, though, sometimes a nuisance, we generally enjoy and tolerate them.

But what happens when something goes wrong?

What happens if some outside force causes their DNA to explode, creating a whole new species? What happens when that species begins to distrust and fear humans?

Brooke Davis, her daughter, Tessa, and their intrepid dog, Petey, are about to find out.

The Night of the Sciurus, A Western Michigan Tale of Terror is a story of environmental horror by multi-award-winning and USA Today bestselling author, Linda Watkins.

God, this was an awful book. Written from the POV of a cute and cuddly squirrel to tell you all about pollution and the dangers it carries to wildlife.

However, fate was not kind to this little squirrel. Out of all of the puddles that littered the property, he chose the wrong one. The one he drank from was not left by the rain. No, this one was always there, water generated from an underground spring. Water that had once been clean and clear. But now, as it bubbled to the surface, it mixed with multiple pollutants and chemicals left behind when the old mill was shut down. As a result, by the time the water reached the surface, it was toxic.

This squirrel then has a gene defect which he passes on to his litter causing an environmental collapse.

This squirrel or one of his mates then bites a little girl who has to be rushed to the ER. The mother then continues her research to see what on Earth would have made the squirrel bite her daughter:

effects of pollution on wild animals. I learned that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors,” heavy metals such as lead and PCBs, and additives like bisphenol A can alter the behavior of animals in the wild.

[…]

Gazing out at the natural beauty of my backyard, the whole idea of mutant squirrels seemed ludicrous. However, the memory of the look on my daughter’s face after the squirrel attacked her and the pitiful form of my dog huddled in the closet were more than enough to convince me I had to pursue

Super mom on the research path! The squirrels become more aggressive, bite her and her dog and she develops PTSD. Loads of articles pop up about nasty squirrels. She stops her investigation eventually and decides to focus on domestic bliss, but it still plagued by Facebook-Mom thoughts:

But what would happen if somehow dogs became affected by pollution in a manner similar to what happened to the squirrels? Would the next generation of kids be denied ever knowing the rare beauty of unconditional love?

God, I couldn’t wait to put this book down. What a pile of poop.

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