Book Review – We Are The Ants


We are the Ants, written by Shaun David Hutchinson, is a light, science fiction, young adult novel tackling themes of mental health, the human-existence, and the meaning of life. The book’s main character, Henry Denton, has been given an ultimatum by abducting aliens on whether or not he wants to save the world. He is given 144 days to make a decision. All he has to do is press one red button to save humanity, but he isn’t sure. The book follows Henry’s decision of the world’s fate and contemplating all the whys and why nots. 

The characters in this book are realistic and relatable, but still aspirational and spectacularly human. A character that stands out to me is Henry’s brother’s girlfriend, Zooey, who is presented as a deeply understanding and loving woman. Henry confides in Zooey and the comfort she exudes, always making time to listen to him, even while she has problems of her own. Zooey believes Henry should press the button. 

My favourite part of the book is the comparison between humans and ants. This is a metaphor to show how insignificant humans are compared to the rest of the universe, just as humans believe ants have no significance in their world. But even so as the book says “we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on”. It teaches us to live in the moment, and that dwelling only wastes time; while we’re still here we should be making active efforts into not being forgotten. 

The book is beautifully written with colourful vocabulary and descriptive language, helping the reader picture every event in their mind. The showcases of relationships, mental health, and internal conflict can be applied to every single person, making this book highly appealing and recommendable.