I have the bad habit of not always checking if I already own a book before buying a new one. I actually own Mantis, by Matthew A. Clarke under it’s previous title, Things Were Easier Before You Became a Giant Fucking Mantis. This is not the first time I’ve acquired second copies of re-released books, but this post isn’t about those.
The cover art on the two editions couldn’t be more different, but both are amazing and eye catching enough that I bought it twice. The first cover shows a somewhat ghastly looking manti-woman’s face. Having read the descriptions of manti-people, I believe that cover is a more accurate representation of what they look like. The cover on the re-release, Mantis, is actually quite beautiful. In my head, the different covers represent how Jacoboby sees the love of his life, Millie, right after she turns (first cover) and how he sees her years afterward when he’s fully accepted their new life together. After all, I think we all see the people with whom we are in love in a rosier hue.
Teenagers Jacoboby and Millie live in a world where some people carry a gene that turns them into giant mantis people. Jacoboby’s mom leads a hate group called Super Mantis Killas who spends their time beating up and murdering manti-people and just being jackasses. As the son of the leader of this group, Jacoboby is dubbed Master of the mantis hating dudebros. One day, his best friend and girlfriend Millie starts to turn. He knew she carried the gene because he knew her sister was a mantis, but her transformation is still a shock to him. He is forced to reexamine everything he’s ever known and decide whether he will continue his life as an SMK Master or start a new life with his mantis girlfriend.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. This bizarre story tackles some surprisingly heavy themes. You’ll find yourself making mantis parallels to real world subjects like racism, loyalty, love, and family. It is well written and thought provoking. It’s imaginative and totally bizarre. It’s got everything I expect from a good bizarro novel. If you’re a fan of bizarro, you’ll love it.
You can buy Mantis, by Matthew A. Clarke on Amazon for a couple bucks or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.