Primitive - Mark Nykanen, Deborah Smith
Sonya Adams is a model who thinks she's on her way to another catalog shoot. On arrival, however, she discovers the modeling job was just a set up for a kidnapping! Her abductors are members of a group environmental extremists who live a minimalist lifestyle as a means of reducing their carbon emissions, and they hope to use Sonya to draw attention to their message.

Primitive has a very interesting concept: a cult-like group of environmentalists kidnap a model, a symbol of modern indulgence, for propaganda purposes. Global climate change is definitely a relevant issue, and the book depicts the spread of ideas through the internet and modern television coverage very believably. Unfortunately, the book has some major issues with getting its points across.

The biggest problem with Primitive is the characters. There is very little development, and most are one-dimensional stereotypes. The "underground" of activists depicted in the novel are all pot-smoking hippie cliches with names like "Kodiak," "Calypso," "Sorrell," and "Lotus." There's also the rebellious daughter, the evil military commander, and the "bad-ass" above-the-law bounty hunter with the ridiculous name of "Johnny Bracer."

The author also has a bad habit of using sentence fragments. Like this. For emphasis. Political messages are also hit over the head by the story. For example, all the law enforcement and military characters are above the law and all too ready to abuse their power in pursuit of potential "terrorists."

While the issue of climate change is a major issue, as are current US military operations, Primitive is so full of stereotypes that it is hard to take any of the book's messages seriously.

A review copy was provided by the publisher.