Why I Read It: Near future military tech? Why not?
Where I Got It: A review copy from the publisher (thanks!)
Who I Recommend This To: Hmmm…. Not sure I can.
Narrator: Peyton Tochternman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2012)
Length: 12 CDs
In the year 2032, James Newman and his family struggle for justice in a difficult political climate. Bombings and a kidnapping of a key physicist in Texas set off a chain of events that have not only James, but also his family and their closest friends fleeing from their own government even as they attempt to unravel the plot behind the Texas events. In a country where all military personnel and their dependents are tracked through a personal implanted unit, firearms are banned to the bulk of the populace, and the US President is only concerned with her political career, James must face one obstacle after another.
Let me tell you up front that I went into this book with no preconceived notions. How did I do that, you may be asking. Well, I had no idea who Oliver North was before this book. Yes, this trifle admission to my lack of political knowledge has led to snerkling from my man and friends. That’s OK, as I now realize my own mistake and snerkle at myself.
Let me start with the fact that this book had lots of near-future or cutting edge tech sprinkled through out it. I really liked those parts of the book.
OK, now I can tell you the biggies about the book that turned me off. There is only one woman in a position of authority (the US President) and she is a bad guy; a stupid bad guy at that. No, that is not spoiler as you learn this early on. All the rest of the women are meek, mild mannered, most of them are wives and mothers. Sigh…… Often the author was patronizing in his admiration of the quiet strength and fortitude of the female side of the species.
I disagreed with nearly all the politics. If you happen to agree with them, then this book probably won’t be such a drag for you. Basically, the gist of the book was that Christian, heterosexual, white males rule. *quirked eyebrow*. Can you hear me sighing again? I am not male or Christian, so perhaps that limits my sympathizing with the main characters. Also, there were some lines about gay marriage contributing to the decline of the US (I’m for marriage equality). Then there was that part about Islam being inherently evil (raises both eyebrows). I think organized religion, any religion, in general can be unhealthy for a person. But singling out a major world religion as inherently evil seems simplistic to say the least.
So, there you have the biggies. There were some other bits – like so much of the book seems to be a regurgitation of some military procedure or another, making what would otherwise be an exciting rescue scene something you may doze through. This book probably could have used just one more round of editing to trim these parts down. There was a plethora of acronyms in this book and some were not explained, and some were (usually a knowledgeable male was explaining them to some helpless female). The ending of the book was a bit sudden, left some side plots unfinished, and wasn’t fully satisfying; it left me with a sense that the author started to suffer from Lazy Author Syndrome, relying too heavily on deus ex machina.
But, hey, there was cool tech.
This might have been the first book for our narrator, Peyton Tochterman, so I will be gentle in my critique of his efforts. Essentially, he had two voices – one for the men and one for the women (basically a hushed male tenor voice). The story line called for Middle Eastern and Hispanic accents, which our narrator failed at. Sometimes the pacing was stilted and sometimes I felt the narrator was yelling out the times and locations, and for some reason, acronyms.
What I Liked: The cool tech.
What I Disliked: Patronizing to women; the good guys are all white heterosexual Christians; some political comments were extremely discriminatory; acronym soup; inexperienced narrator; weak ending.