Author: Kevin Hilliker
Release Date: May 10, 2012
Death catches us all.
WE ARE ELEPHANTS is a road story about teenage love, mutant dogs, an insane old hunter, feverish hallucinations, Middle America and the end of the world.
Fifteen-year-old Michael and his younger brother John are violently forced into the desolate frontier of Middle America—at first simply trying to stay alive. However, an act of goodwill deep within the Ohio wilderness sets off a chain of events that propels the brothers from state to state, trying to outrun a master-tracker who has become known only as The Huntsman. As they run, Michael begins to question whether the old man is real, or a figment of his darkest nightmares. What he finds, will change the boy forever.
WE ARE ELEPHANTS is a powerful debut novel from Kevin Hilliker—a post-apocalyptic thriller like no other. Atmospheric and expertly told, this story will stay with readers long after they've finished the last, startling pages.
When I set out to read this book, I had an idea in my mind that it would be mainly about the old man’s pursuit and the boy’s attempts to escape him. In reality, We Are Elephants was about much more than that. What I loved the most about it was the focus on the characters as they went through their journey. I found that I was able to really understand them and grow with John and Michael. I expected there to be a greater focus on The Huntsman, as he is the one who is pursuing him, but he didn’t seem to have a large role in the book. I wasn’t sure that The Huntsman was actually after them at the beginning and I felt very much like Michael did when he questioned whether he was after them or not.
The fact that The Huntsman wasn’t at the forefront of the novel, however, was a definite positive for me. I enjoyed reading about Michael, John, and Jamie as they traveled through the states. I loved Michael’s internal struggle, he was such a strong character that I was definitely not expecting him to feel as troubled as he did. John and Jamie were also great characters! John seemed to be years older than he actually was, which surprised me. I expected him to be at least 16 years old, when he had just turned 13. He was able to handle everything that came their way in a mature manner, bravely facing all the obstacles ahead like an adult. Along their journey, Michael and John found Jamie and I am so glad that they did! She was exactly what they needed. She was motherly, loving, and was able to both soften them up a bit and give them the help that they needed.
Overall, I really enjoyed We Are Elephants! The book was definitely very character-driven, which was a big plus. Of course, the plot itself was intriguing and it kept me wanting to know more. The one negative about this book was that it wasn’t longer! I wish it had been about 100 pages longer or more, maybe even have a sequel. I wanted more time with the characters. All selfish thoughts aside, We Are Elephants was a great read and I definitely recommend it!