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Book Review: Sleeping Dogs by Lee McCall + Promotions

About Sleeping Dogs by Lee McCall

Sleeping Dogs

When an Anaran survey ship was dispatched to investigate surprising indications of life on a planet orbiting a G-class star, they were stunned to discover a planet of unparalleled biological diversity and beauty. And horrified by the realization that its indigenous intelligent species—humans—were on the verge of destroying it.

Wary of initiating contact with a violent species possessing a level of technology rapidly approaching their own, and with limited time to act, Anaran leaders reluctantly concluded that the only means of saving this unique planet was the elimination of humans.

Now, six centuries after the extinction of humans, Earth’s ecological balance has been restored. It is an Anaran colony, a center for scientific research and a prized tourist destination—and the jewel in the crown of the Anaran Administrative Zone.

Since she was a child, Prill had dreamed of going to Earth. Although raised by her parents as a follower of the Children of Anara—the cult-like remnant of a once dominant religion—Prill had abandoned those beliefs and pursued a career in science. And now, as a graduate of the Academy of Exo-Science, her dreams are realized when she is assigned to the Port Tiras Research Center on Earth.

But Prill arrives on Earth at a time when some prominent members of Anaran society are advocating a revisionist view of humans, arguing that the elimination of the human race was both unjust and unnecessary. Before long, the Human Re-creation Project is announced—and Prill finds herself impelled to join this ambitious scientific endeavor. Her decision forces her to choose between family, friends, and her conscience, and leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. For not all is as it seems with the project. And there are some who are determined to stop it at any cost…

Sleeping Dogs Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I was compensated for my time reading the book and writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the author in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review.

Sleeping Dogs by Lee McCall is a captivating science fiction tale set on futuristic Earth. Earth, the planet that had once teemed with human life, now is on the brink of destruction brought upon by its own inhabitants. In the aftermath of humanity’s extinction, Earth has been reclaimed by an alien species, the Anarans, who are committed to restoring its ecological balance and preserving its natural beauty. Among the Anarans on this mission was Prill, a young and ambitious biologist who harbors a deep fascination with Earth and had dreamed since childhood of exploring the once-thriving planet.

As Prill embarks on her long-awaited journey to Earth, she finds herself at the heart of a momentous debate among the Anaran society. The radical side believed humans were beyond redemption. So they propose a bold initiative—the Human Re-creation Project—to bring humanity back from extinction using cloning technology. Prill is drawn into this endeavour, a decision that forces her to confront her own beliefs, challenge societal norms, and grapple with the consequences of her choices.

An intriguing and ironic portrayal of humanity’s irresponsible handling of planet Earth from an Alien perspective, Sleeping Dogs transports readers to a future Earth that is simultaneously familiar and foreign, where the ghosts of humanity’s past actions linger in the shadows of a new world. McCall’s exploration of the relationship between humans, nature, and technology is a timely and relevant reflection on our present-day environmental challenges and the consequences of unchecked ambition. Sleeping Dogs is a compelling journey of self-discovery, ethics, and the enduring hope for redemption in a world reshaped by the choices of the past.

There are many specific aspects that stood out to me when I was approached for a review of this book, ranging from its book cover to its concept. Right off the bat, the book cover captured my attention. I really liked its cinematic design and the aesthetics definitely aligned with the book’s atmosphere, setting the tone for my reading experience.

There then was the insightful commentary on climate change and the profound impact of unrestrained human activity on our planet. Earth is portrayed as a precious gem, emphasizing the idea that it’s a shared space among diverse living beings rather than the exclusive domain of humans. McCall presents the horrible nature of climate change through the perspective of aliens who are judging the aftermath of human actions on Earth.

This unique narrative approach offers a satisfying way to showcase the urgent message from a writing perspective, compelling readers to contemplate the pressing need for responsible stewardship of our world. It’s similar to how whenever you have guests over to your home, suddenly you can see all the problems in your apartment that you’ve never noticed before. Being in the shoes of a third party can really bring the point home by underscoring aspects that may too often fly past people’s heads.

Speaking of the narrative, it itself is a satisfying blend of character-driven and plot-driven storytelling. Much of the focus centers on Prill, her reactions to Earth’s condition, and her personal growth as she navigates this new world. However, there are other times in the book that give off a larger-than-life feeling when reading by showcasing the broader events and the fate of Earth as a significant event beyond the control of any single individual. This dynamic mirrors our own lives, where we oscillate between feeling like the center of our world (character-driven) and recognizing our insignificance within the grand tapestry of our environment (plot-driven).

Therefore, Sleeping Dogs stands apart as a story rooted in science, ethics, and morals. It illuminates the intricate relationship between scientific discovery and the ethical dilemmas it can pose when knowledge is harnessed for purposes beyond its original intent. The protagonist, Prill, exemplifies determination in the face of adversity, making her journey a compelling exploration of personal and moral growth. Prill is a great example to demonstrate the importance of morality in the field of science. And the drive for science oftentimes cannot override the moral sacrifices that come with it.

With fluid writing and well-crafted character dynamics that thrive within the ambitiously constructed world, “Sleeping Dogs” proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable read for me. This book seamlessly blends its thought-provoking themes with a gripping narrative, offering a timely and poignant reflection on the complexities of our relationship with science, ethics, and the environment.

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What is Sleeping Dogs About?

A controversial endeavor to reverse the extinction of humanity is at the heart of this fascinating YA novel. 

 An alien species vows to protect Earth by eliminating its biggest destructor – humans.

HALIFAX, Canada – June 1, 2022 – Young Prill is a recent graduate of the Academy of Exo-Sciences on her planet Anara. Her species eradicated humanity on Earth six centuries earlier, and she is now posted as a research assistant on Earth, participating in the controversial Human Re-Creation Project. In the process, Prill will need to put aside her prejudices of the human race to prove that the preservation of this long-gone species is an endeavor worth attempting.

Sleeping Dogs, the first book in the Human Re-Creation Project series by Lee McCall, is a fascinating science-based epic adventure story for young adults that highlights both the selfish and extraordinary qualities of human existence. 

As a young Anaran child, Prill had been fascinated with Earth, obsessing over any information or artifacts she could find about this world of spectacular beauty. But growing up in a family of believers within the scattered sects of Children of Anara, she was raised to be skeptical of Earth and the abominations of the wiped-out race. Her parents are not happy when they learn of Prill’s posting to Earth —the prized destination for any aspiring exobiologist—whose discovery six centuries earlier had been the most important exo-planetary find in the history of space exploration.

Earth’s discovery by the Anarans was accidental and changed everything previously known about exoplanets. Earth had a rare combination of factors that allowed for the development of a rich and complex biosphere that allowed for a wide range of habitats, all of which supported their own unique and complex ecosystems. The rate at which life forms developed and adapted made it uniquely responsive to changes in its environment, including several disastrous events which had resulted in mass extinction.

But on Earth, life always returned, in new and greater variety than before. It was a place unlike anything else in the known galaxy. It was also a planet that held an uncomfortable—many would say shameful—place in the history of Anara.

“And what was the indigenous intelligent species doing to this incredible planet? They were destroying it; deliberately so, it seems, since it was impossible that they would be unaware of the effects of their actions. They were poisoning the environment, causing climatic changes that were occurring far too quickly to allow even many Earth species, as resilient as they are, to adapt.

They were wantonly displacing other life forms, to the extent that thousands of species, both flora and fauna, were facing imminent extinction or had already gone extinct. Despite their technological advances, humans were a short-sighted, violent and selfish species.”

Anarans were faced with a dilemma unlike anything they had previously encountered. After considerable debate, they decided the only means of saving the most remarkable planet ever found was to eliminate the indigenous species that threatened it–humans. They developed a virus that stopped humans from reproducing and, eventually, the human race died out. Despite rationalizing that they were upholding their fundamental guiding principle of respect for life, and avoiding any violent action against another intelligent species, the repercussions of this decision divided Anaran society for centuries.

“Couldn’t they have met with their leaders, and tried to help them … you know, change?”

 “Met with their leaders? Impossible,” the instructor responded, waving a hand dismissively. “Unlike us, humans had no central leadership. They were split into hundreds of different regional areas of authority, and they fought each other constantly. There was not even a small likelihood that they could be persuaded to reach a consensus.”

Now, centuries after humans ceased to exist, many Anarans are arguing for a revisionist view of humans, claiming that the elimination of humans was unjust and unnecessary. As a consequence of their efforts, the Anaran Executive Committee decides that humans should once again have a place on the planet, and the Human Re-creation Project is announced. The Committee explains that the humans resulting from the  initial cloning technology will be carefully overseen to nurture and guide them to learn to appreciate and protect planet Earth.

Upon being invited to participate in this project, Prill realizes she must put aside everything she thought she knew about humans, and examine the basis for her prejudice toward humans, to bring about the recreation of their species.

Author Lee McCall masterfully weaves a page-turning hard science speculative adventure that represents a fascinating version of our own world’s future. Shrouded in science-fiction, this is a story of our world today and how humanity must change to preserve our very spirit and our planet. McCall brings young adult and new adult readers a novel steeped in science, sociology, and stewardship that will invite critical thinking and discussion long after the book is closed.

If you would like more information about author Lee McCall and Sleeping Dogs, book one in the Human Re-Creation Project series,please contact or visit

About the Author of Sleeping Dogs

Young adult author Lee McCall brings together a unique combination of hard science and fiction with his fascinating novel, Sleeping Dogs, book one of his Human Re-Creation Project series. In his story, when an alien species—Anarans—accidentally discovers Earth and the careless destruction that humans have brought on this remarkable planet and its many lifeforms, Anarans believe they are protecting the Earth’s future by eradicating humanity. 

Lee gets his story ideas from events in everyday life, reading news articles, studying history and science. For Sleeping Dogs, the idea came from an article Lee was reading at the time which was debating the practicality of recreating mammoths from DNA that had been recovered from frozen specimens. This made Lee wonder about what another species might think of recreating humans, were our species to go extinct, and his novel concept was born.

Due to the nature of his story content, research is an important—and time-consuming —part of Lee’s writing process. He believes a good book is one that has relatable characters that the reader cares about, and a plot that has unexpected twists. Lee hopes his young adult readers learn to examine the basis for their views and beliefs when presented with information that contradicts what they always believed to be true, much like the protagonist in Lee’s story.

When he’s not writing stimulating science-based stories for young and new adults, Lee is a digital artist who enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. He currently lives on the Atlantic coast of Canada, along with his cat Cleo, who takes a lively editorial interest in his writing and takes perverse delight in deleting passages of text she considers substandard. Sleeping Dogs is Lee McCall’s debut novel.

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