Nick McDonell’s The Council of Animals starts—like many SFF books do—after an apocalypse. Unlike many SFF books, however, the struggle of what to do after a civilization-killing event doesn’t center around humans; it’s the animals who are the main characters of this after the end of the world fable.
In McDonell’s 208-page tale, all animals except humans can speak a universal language called grak. The animals also hold Councils from time to time to vote on major decisions that impact the Animal Kingdom. The story—told by an unknown narrator (until the very end)—starts at one of those Councils. After a human-caused disaster called The Calamity, representatives from a handful of species congregate to decide whether or not they should kill off the few dozen humans who are still alive.