I’m really torn about writing this review. I’ve finally settled on 4 stars out of 5, but I could have given it only 3. While the story was pretty interesting, it was also very annoying. The author has filled his $5.99 book with $50 words! I mean, there are words in this book that I’ve never read or ever used. They really caused reading the book to slow way down.
This is a story about a future America since it does go outside the borders of that country. For some reason, our population has been restricted to only those people who have a demonstrated skill set that will help society function within the confines of a specific city-area. Outside these cities is the wilderness where non-skilled people are sent. They have to live off the land without the modern conveniences of a city.
Some would say they will be better off than those in the city. We don’t actually get a glimpse of city living, but it seems pretty secure. Those sent to the “wilderness” make their own security. They wouldn’t have a bad time of it if it wasn’t for the large corporations that seem to want to own all the land in the wilderness. These corporations have even gone so far as to hire mercenary armies to make sure they don’t have a bunch of indigent “squatters” settling on their corporate own property. Of course these people in the wilderness are arming themselves against whatever threats they may face to include fighting the mercenaries who are forcibly evicting them from camping grounds and other places that are not included in a city complex. These evictions can be pretty bloody with the mercs getting paid based on body count at times.
We do get to introduced to quite a variety of characters in this book. Most of the characters are well developed and you do have some sympathy for their situations although they don’t seem to be doing anything but accepting the way things are as the norm. If you’re a military veteran, you might not like the way some of the military is portrayed in this book, but it is science fiction. I’ve read worse portrayals!
Additionally, the US government has decided to abdicate its responsibilities to protect all citizens and provide for the common defense. They consider those outside the city complexes as non-citizens with no rights. Plus, the government doesn’t fund the military any where near what they need to do their job so, protection of the US citizens is becoming more and more a responsibility of large corporations and their hired mercenary companies. You will read about an Army unit that has greatly deteriorated, has very little military discipline and eventually gets replaced by a large mercenary corporation. The same goes for the Air Force and the Navy. Very strange concepts in this book.
It’s a dark book of a bleak future if you’re into reading about what could be. I don’t particularly enjoy that kind of book and the authors use of really unusual words was annoying to say the least. I know most science fiction books are not written for college graduates, but they should be written for entertainment and not necessarily to increase one’s vocabulary. So, beware if you don’t like big words!