Unique, daring, and unforgettable, it tells the story of an ordinary family who accidentally threaten the security of a hidden civilization as intelligent as our own--a colony of ants determined to survive at any cost Jonathan Wells and his young family have Here is the stunning international bestseller in the tradition of Watership Down but with a dark, original twist. Jonathan Wells and his young family have come to the Paris flat at 3, rue des Sybarites through the bequest of his eccentric late uncle Edmond. Inheriting the dusty apartment, the Wells family are left with only one warning: Never go down into the cellar.
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Plot[ edit ] The plot begins as two stories that take place in parallel: one in the world of humans in Paris , the other in the world of ants in a Formica rufa colony in a park near Paris. The time is the early 21st century the near future, relative to the time when Werber wrote the book.
The human character receives a house and a provocative message as legacy from his recently deceased uncle. His family and other people follow, and disappear.
The ant character is a male whose foraging expedition gets destroyed in one strike, by a mysterious force that comes from above. He suspects that a colony of another ant species has attacked them with a secret weapon, and attempts to meet with the queen and to rally other ants to investigate the disaster.
However, he attracts the attention of a secret group of ants within the same colony that appear to want to conceal this information. As the plot unfolds, the humans and the ants encounter new mysteries and participate in challenging events, including a war between different ant species. Reception[ edit ] The descriptions of ant morphology, behavior, and social organization as well as their interactions with other species are engaging, detailed, and scientifically based, although Werber significantly exaggerates the reasoning and communication capabilities of the ants rendering his work science-fiction [ citation needed ].
And, more frighteningly, what happens next -- when our efforts have drawn the attention of the other species to us? Read Empire of the Ants, and contemplate it.
Empire of the Ants
All around, warriors were fighting duels. Finally, they flung themselves together with a clash of their shells. As soon as one of them managed it, the other tried to bite her knees. Their movements were jerky. They reared up on their hind legs, collapsed in a heap and rolled about furiously. They usually held their grip, then suddenly struck another limb.