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October 2015 Indie Next List
“Bats of the Republic is a book connoisseur's dream. It is a propulsive novel -- often a novel within a novel -- that shatters the restraints of genre with brilliance matched only by its complexity and originality. Dodson weaves a story from a past filled with hope and regret with a future rife with promise and dire consequences to keep the reader engaged throughout. Complete with maps and ephemera that make this a singular reading experience, Bats of the Republic is gorgeous, unputdownable, and above all in this day and age, necessary.”
— Javier Ramirez, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL
"Archetypes of the cowboy story, tropes drawn from sci-fi, love letters, diaries, confessions all abound in this relentlessly engaging tale. Dodson has quite brilliantly exposed the gears and cogs whirring in the novelist's imagination. It is a mad and beautiful thing."
--Keith Donohue, The Washington Post
Winner of Best of Region for the Southwest in PRINT's 2016 Regional Design Awards
Bats of the Republic
is an illuminated novel of adventure, featuring hand-drawn maps and natural history illustrations, subversive pamphlets and science-fictional diagrams, and even a nineteenth-century novel-within-a-novel--an intrigue wrapped in innovative design.
In 1843, fragile naturalist Zadock Thomas must leave his beloved in Chicago to deliver a secret letter to an infamous general on the front lines of the war over Texas. The fate of the volatile republic, along with Zadock's future, depends on his mission. When a cloud of bats leads him off the trail, he happens upon something impossible...
Three hundred years later, the world has collapsed and the remnants of humanity cling to a strange society of paranoia. Zeke Thomas has inherited a sealed envelope from his grandfather, an esteemed senator. When that letter goes missing, Zeke engages a fomenting rebellion that could free him--if it doesn't destroy his relationship, his family legacy, and the entire republic first.
As their stories overlap and history itself begins to unravel, a war in time erupts between a lost civilization, a forgotten future, and the chaos of the wild. Bats of the Republic
is a masterful novel of adventure and science fiction, of elliptical history and dystopian struggle, and, at its riveting core, of love.