Tom Stone, Author, October 4, 2009
“Pat Whitaker’s first book, ANTITHESIS, is a story about an American female entomologist, more specifically, a myrmecologist — one who studies ants. Through her research in ant communications, Juliet Monk becomes engrossed in the tale of a fellow scientist who has disappeared into the wilds of Namibia. When she sets out to unravel the mystery she not only becomes involved with the locals in Ruacana, Namibia, but also discovers an evolutionary track of a specific species of ant that has the potential to change the world.
ANTITHESIS portrays the mind of a scientist and does much to put the ‘science’ in the science fiction genre. This should not serve to put off the casual reader as ANTITHESIS is highly readable and does not descend into mind-drilling factums about the insect world. Rather, the science is interesting and worked into the story in such a manner that the reader is coaxed along in a realistic manner.
Along the way, Whitaker is able to inject his views on environment, conservation, and ultimately, the state of the human race. While his conclusions are not necessarily good news for homo sapiens, he is able to embed within his main character an idea that although time may be short for humankind, compassion and kindness are still requirements for living in the moment.”
Ivan Turner, Author, February 26, 2010
“I enjoyed ANTITHESIS. I felt the premise was very interesting (I love stories about ants) although I did think that the main character was a bit flat. The only other criticism I had with the book is that I didn’t think the author spent enough time resolving the main plot thread. It was kind of like watching one of those television shows that spends 40 minutes building and 5 minutes resolving.
Despite all criticism, though, antithesis is a good story with a valuable theme. There is a nice side-plot that is just as dramatically interesting as the main plot. The story flows nicely and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, like me, who likes stories about ants.”
“For me, the best kind of novel is always one which entertains while educating. Striking the right balance between the two is a difficult balancing act: too much information and the book begins to sound too preachy and the story suffers, too little information and the reader can be left feeling uninformed … and the story suffers.
Pat Whitaker’s ANTITHESIS strikes the perfect balance between the two. He allows the story of Juliet and her search through Namibia for the secrets of long vanished Professor Makel to slowly reveal itself, while giving the reader a fantastic grounding in the everyday lives of both the entomologist Juliet and the ants she is so obviously devoted to understanding.
Pat has a very distinctive style to his writing. His minimalist descriptions and scene-setting could leave readers more used to highly detailed prose wanting, but he more than makes up for this with his characters’ interesting and detailed dialogues, and a story that slowly unravels to a quite stunning revelation.
On the surface, ANTITHESIS is a great sci-fi adventure story based solidly in hard-science that Whitaker has obviously painstakingly researched. But at its heart, it is a clear warning to science and humanity in general to be very careful what it meddles with.
However you choose to interpret ANTITHESIS, one thing is certain; by the time you finish the book I can guarantee that you will never look at the humble ant in quite the same way again.”