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After the economy crashes, a covert-operations veteran faces the cruel realities of life off the grid and outside the law.

Commissioned military officer Bourne (Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass, 2012, etc.) has created a scenario in which martial law is established in the U.S. and a Hobbesian state of nature develops. Reminiscent of Jack London’s classic 1908 novel, The Iron Heel, this story about a dystopian future is told mainly through the journal entries of a government operative named Max (last name redacted) who's been through SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school in Maine, as well as even more advanced training grounds aimed at what he calls " 'high risk of capture' folks like me." On his first mission, however, he unknowingly helps trigger a cyberattack that leads to the complete breakdown of the international economic exchange (the details of how this happens remain vague). When he realizes what the ramifications of his actions will be, Max returns to an old family plot in rural Arkansas, stockpiles weapons, and loads up on supplies. Once the banking system implodes, civil society quickly deteriorates. Unlike nearly everyone else, Max is well-prepared for the harsh new realities of life. All the same, there are many obstacles between him and a pleasant life among his hoarded goods. Not only will he have to battle looters, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and the harsh elements, but he will also face a militaristic local arm of the government which is looking to disarm its citizens and has lost any regard for the tenets of the Constitution. While it remains unclear how the international fabric of economic stability can be unraveled so rapidly, the author knows more than enough about the prepping process for a post-apocalyptic reality to maintain the reader’s rapt attention.

A dark but captivating look at life inside a failed American society.

Pub Date: June 30th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2913-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2015


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