October is hands down the busiest month of the year in my house. We have a lot of school commitments, family activities, and of course, my kid's favorite holiday: Halloween. Who doesn't love a holiday dedicated to candy? The time and energy put into selecting a costume and picking out the perfect pumpkin is exhausting. This year I am a classroom mother so I'm planning the Halloween party that has to be lots of fun, create little mess, and have treats that cater to FIVE different food allergies. Fun will be had by all, though. To break up all the festive fall things I sat down and devoured today's Spotlight. Sit back and enjoy because this one is a thrill ride.
In the near future (2016) the United States finds itself being destroyed by the Chinese after defaulting on a loan. With the government in shambles the citizens of the US are left to fend for themselves against the Chinese invasion. We follow the lives of Cliffson and his neighbors, as well as Thomas and his family, as they try to keep their families together and survive.
Gems for Writers:
Food for Thought. Beardies, this book is not for the faint-hearted. This is a true edge-of-your-seat, holy-cow-did-that-just-really-happen kind of book. This is a dark, apocalyptic thriller that I probably shouldn't have started reading the day before our government shut down, because it has made me slightly paranoid. This book has strong political overtones which drives the plot along. I pictured the characters in the story as Fox News anchors and contributors. Don't let that detour you, though, if you have more liberal political views. In order for this story to be compelling and paint the picture it needs a strong political opinion to be the driving force. I spent my college career studying political science and so I found the political talking points interesting, even if I didn't agree with the overall rhetoric. I found myself contemplating my own life and what I would do and how prepared I would be if this sort of situation would actually occur. (Knocking on all the wood I can find so that this doesn't.)
Dystopian Elements. I love a good dystopian book, and this one doesn't disappoint in that area. There is so much dark, twisty stuff going on I don't know where to start. A lot of dystopian elements are hit upon in this book—from the fall of the government, to the annihilation of large US cities, the fighting and killing, failing economies, et cetera—this story really has it all. However, I think this book could have lost about 100 pages and still been the compelling work that it is. Sometimes there can be too much description and detail that slows down the otherwise quick-paced story.
Evolution of Characters. It was interesting to see each character evolve and adapt to their new world as the story progressed. It was a wild ride for our main protagonist, Cliffson. He becomes the defacto leader of his close friends/neighbors/family. Generally a mild-mannered, model citizen, he's faced with many tough decisions and had to take drastic actions to protect his loved ones and livelihood. Of all the characters in the story, Thomas, however, had the biggest changes. From a well-to-do college professor, to struggling in the wilderness for survival, he had the biggest evolution as a character. It was nice to follow his story, as he was challenged and rose to the occasion.
This was an interesting book. Like I said above, I don't necessarily agree with the political opinions expressed but that didn't detour me at all from devouring and enjoying the story. I was really rooting for Cliffson and his family/group. Let's hope Mr. Roberts doesn't have a direct psychic connection to the future because his world is not one in which I would like to find myself living, but it was a thought provoking read. Pick it up. Give it a go. Tell me what you think.
Until Next Time...
***Truth's Blood (2013), by Tyler Roberts, is published by and copyright iUniverse. It is available in stores, online (see above), and from your local public library.