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It describes America´s "Long Fall from Grace" out of the perspective of 3 people. Starting with a Politician who tries to stop the economic collaps , a soldier who suffers the consequences of America not being able to fund the Afghanistan war and a family father/former policeman who deals with a truly post apocalyptic world,including abandoned cities,marauding bands and finally the loss of modern technologies like electricity and gasoline,following the economic collaps.
The political views of the reader will greatly influence the enjoyment of this book.If you feel sympathetic to the Tea Party movement you might enjoy it.There are a lot of concepts and premises I do not agree with and it was quite hard to work my way through the first 11 chapters which set up the whole post apocalyptic world with right-leaning premises.
Beginning with the fact that all politicians in Washington are too far away from the "real America" to know that the majority of people want "less Government interference in their lives" up to phrases like "America needs jobs not Healthcare". At one point the Politician convinces (through his passion...) a room of Democratic leaders that anything social like health care will make people lazy and they´ll give up looking for a job to the point that they applaud him loudly for a speech where he uses the phrase " we´re enslaving America" as a metaphor for healthcare instead of job creation.
Another example for the right mindedness is the reaction of all Islamic countries after America and Europe stop sending combat troops to the Middle East. Apparently they´re all just waiting for that to happen to fight in unison against Israel and support organizations like the Taliban and Al Qaida.
Even if you agree with those views the first 12 chapters seem to have achieved nothing more than a simple beginning like "The Politicians did not listen to the simple folks on the street and ran the country to the ground." would have and you would probably be better of skipping that long and unnecessarily details setup.Maybe it would have been different if the reader hat built up rapport to the protagonist it would have been entertaining to watch him move on in his career but it was all very impersonal.And even the connection between characters seemed very simple and hard to sympathize with.The narrator basically said that they talked for two hours about politics and found that they agreed a lot and had a lot in common without giving the reader the chance to listen to them talking and making that conclusion for himself.
Once you´re past the first 12 chapters,accept the idea of a post apocalyptic world and put aside yours and the narrators political views you get a fast paced storyline with a lot of action and opportunities for the protagonists to be brave.
It finally manages to capture you and imagine to be their yourself,which should be the goal of every book, although the emotional side of the characters still seems being described shallowly at best. You get the feeling of an action movie,where you dont really wonder what the hero feels and just enjoy the explosions and the thrill of seeing people dealing with dangerous situations.
Overall I would give this book a 2 star rating.The first part deserves nothing more than a 1 star rating. I had the feeling that the author was completely out of his depth there and did not have any real reason to write it other than to set up the premise of the following 2 stories. The middle part started at a 2 star rating but worked itself up to a 3 star finally that I actually enjoyed,although I again had to ignore the idea,that all Islamic countries would band together.The third part telling of a police mans struggle to survive in a world was again interesting but shallow and deserved a rating somewhere between 2 and 3 stars.
Overseeing the whole story arch it feels disrupted and there is no real reason to make it about 3 different people.
A good book following 3 different people will weave their stories together so that you´ll be able to understand the authors reasons for doing it afterwards, maybe even make them meet. But the only connection between those 3 stories(besides the fact that they happen in the same world) is a little part in the end of Part 3 where you think "oh yeah those two have been mentioned in Part 1". If I would have read the book before publishing I would have recommended the author to deepen the story line of Part 2 and 3 and make 2 separate books out of it,since his strength is clearly in creating suspense in an action heavy storyline.
A detailed rating would be Part 1= 1.0, Part 2 = 2.7 and Part 3 = 2.4 concluding in a overall 2 out of 4 star rating with the warning that someone with a less liberal mind than mine might be able to get more enjoyment out of it.
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