Remarkably Bright Creatures – 5 Star Review

“Humans. For the most part, you are dull and blundering. But occasionally, you can be remarkably bright creatures.”

-Shelby Van Pelt, Remarkably Bright Creatures

I picked this book on a whim from Audible. Mostly what caught my eye is that I saw a friend’s review on Goodreads that said the book has a POV from an octopus. I personally love animal POVS so I gave this the green light.

Remarkably Bright Creatures has some big time “A Man Called Ove” vibes, but our older main character, Tova, is not quite as curmudgeonly as Ove is. Tova is a widowed cleaning lady for the coastal town of Sowell Bay’s small aquarium, and she finds herself befriending a Giant North Pacific Octopus named Marcellas. Marcellas is (understandably) pretty upset with his captivity and has learned how to break out of his tank at night to roam, looking for proper snacks. Marcellas is incredibly intelligent and finds himself caring for Tova, who helps him out of a dire situation one night when she stumbles upon him while cleaning. Marcellas takes it upon himself to help Tova piece together the situation surrounding her son’s disappearance years ago.

This book was so good! It gives me all the warm and fuzzy feelings. Tova is such a sweet older woman who has suffered some losses in her life and finds herself alone in her older age. She can’t quite let go of her son’s disappearance and it still haunts her so many years later. There is a fun cast of characters and side characters throughout the book, and I can honestly tell you I loved every single one of them! They are all (Marcellas included) searching for resolution and a place to belong when life pushes back to prove otherwise.

The audio was great and the main narrator (Marin Ireland) did a wonderful job doing a male Scottish accent. I found her so pleasant to listen to that I would be interested in seeing other books that she’s narrated. I was personally a little disappointed to find out that the chapters from Marcellas’s POV were short and sparse (because how often do we get animal POVs?!), but they sure did pack a snarky punch and I continued to look forward to them. I found them to be an excellent addition to the story line. It should be noted that there is no animal abuse in this story (depending on your views of animals/aquatic life in captivity).

Five shining stars for Remarkably Bright Creatures. If you need a warm hug to your heart, then give this a go and lean into finding new friends and family in unlikely places.

-Review by Kelly

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