Okay, here goes.
I first saw this title in the Goodreads group Apocalypse Whenever when it was in their bookshelf. I thought the title was very unique and intriguing so that pushed me to look it up on Amazon and buy myself a copy. I do admit that I wasn't expecting a lot... I mean, ants? I didn't think anybody could possibly make a good story out of those insects... but after reading the introduction, I knew I was in for a roller coaster ride.
I don't want to spoil the story and summarize the novel, so I'll make this quick and brief. The setting was very original. I haven't yet read any book where humans and ants are of the same size and where the latter is used as tools for everyday life (foraging, riding, warfare), so it was very refreshing. Oftentimes, a lot of authors don't pull it off successfully, so I give the author of this book an applause for being able to write a good novel of such a setting. Story-wise, it's something you've seen before - a rags to riches kind of plot. We're introduced to a boy who is seen as an outcast because of his mother who was from a tribe of roaches, and with his good heart, courage, and determination, was able to squirm out of his misery and became someone far greater and revered by all. While that itself is not original, it's not something that's dragging thanks to the unique setting of this book. If there was one thing I didn't like about him, it was that he was too likable!! haha, if that makes sense. I didn't find any real flaw, and while that's not bad, oftentimes, it makes the character one dimensional and boring. Fortunately, that wasn't the case in this book, and for that I'm glad. I was also happy that while there was romance, the story didn't revolve around it.
Writing-wise, the author did an excellent job. Chapters were nice, some long but are not dragging, some short but they don't feel like they "lack" something. All were substantial chapters and nothing felt like a filler. I loved the fact that there was no abuse of details. In these kind of books, authors tend to drag on and on describing everything. Thankfully, the author knew better and it makes the book a more fulfilling and meaningful read. There are just enough that the readers are able to catch up and understand the new terms and technicalities. The writing also was very well done to the point that it successfully makes you feel empathy to the main character and the obstacles that he goes through. He embarrasses a royal and you go "Yay! You go, hero!" and when he gets into hot water, you go, "Nooo!"
All in all, a good read and I can't wait to read the second book!!!