Rootless by Chris Howard- Review

(The Harvesting)
Author: Chris Howard
Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count: 336
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using scrap metal and salvaged junk, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan's never seen a real tree—they were destroyed more than a century ago—his father used to tell him stories about the Old World. But that was before his father was taken . . .

Everything changes when Banyan meets a woman with a strange tattoo—a clue to the whereabouts of the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can't escape the locusts—the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he's running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he's forced to make an uneasy alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.


In a world without trees, one makes beauty however one can. Banyan is a tree builder. His creations made from scrap metal are purchased by the elite to mimic forests of old. When Banyan meets the mysterious Zee while working on his current project he finds out something that will change his life forever.

Rootless, how do I wrap my head around you. I went into this book expecting one story yet what transpired was something completely different. Was it good still? Yes, Oh God yes. I love being surprised by a story and this one kept me on my toes that is for sure.

A world without trees is unfathomable. Yet, somehow the Author paints the landscape with such detail that it almost makes you believe such a world exists. The world of Rootless actually reminded me of Earth in the movie Wall-E, maybe less trash but still that landscape. If a world devoid of any plants isn't awful enough nothing except genetically modified corn grows on the planet. Can you imagine having to eat corn for every meal? I can't, but due to locusts swarms killing off everything else corn is all that is left. Speaking of the locusts, I forgot to mention these are man eating locusts. They will eat you if they catch you. Nasty right??

As for the characters, I loved Banyan. He has a gift for seeing beauty in stuff most of us wouldn't. He also is very practical and wise almost beyond his years. I really can't wait to see how his character evolves in the next book. I also liked Crow the watcher of Zee who really plays the anti-hero so well. It was fun trying to decide if he was good or bad. Ultimately, I decided he is a good guy just trying to survive playing with the hand he was dealt.

In the end Rootless is a debut that will stick out in my mind for being fresh and inventive. The world isn't necessarily unique but the execution is and that is what makes Rootless worthy of reading. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book and give it a try. I will be rating Rootless by Chris Howard ★★★★.

*I received a copying Rootless to review via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.


  1. Great review. That comparison to Wall-E? Yeah, I'm sold. :) I can't imagine a world without trees. I love living in an older neighborhood BECAUSE of all the big, older trees. Going to have to check this one out, though I'm not excited about flesh-eating locusts. Yuck.

    1. It was really unique and the end had my mouth hanging open in disbelief but the good kind where it takes you by surprise due to creativity.


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