The Many Selves of Katherine North is unlike any book I’ve read. Part science-fiction, part thriller, it’s not my usual read, but the premise of a phenomenaut ‘becoming animal’ via jump technology got me in. And I’m glad it did. The rich sensory details of each animal jump are extraordinary.
Emma Geen’s character, Katherine, projects into endangered species as a way of researching various creatures. She becomes a fox, bat, octopus, snake, and perhaps most weirdly, a spider. Each leap has its unique joys and challenges, but it’s the fox self that resonates most deeply, and returning becomes a challenge.
Through Katherine, readers struggle to master tentacles and sonar and web-spinning. The research involved in making these imaginative leaps so believable is impressive.
“What if the world is not one, but multitude, with as many ways of being as there are beings?” Emma Geen’s novel explores this idea, and although occasionally disjointed, I recommend this unusual and fascinating book to anyone interested in animal characters.