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Orson Scott Card

Contemporary/Futuristic Science Fiction/ Fantasy/Historical Fiction

November 2006

Tor Books
Paperback ISBN# 0765316110

Ever find yourself getting nervous about the heat of right, left, and midstream political warfare? Or even worse, find yourself apathetic after having enough of the endless arguing and ineffective activity of those voted into office to serve the American people? Just how far would one particular political body go to guarantee that its policies and beliefs become the mainstream of American life?

Orson Scott Card has done it again with a riveting, fantastic, and frightening story of the progressive left party's plans to so divide the red and blue states of American politics that their own party has free reign to start a Civil War, one in which their military hardware practically guarantees success.

Major Reuben Malik ("Rube") and Captain Bartholomew Coleman ("Cole") have been highly trained by the military to prevent terrorism of any sort by any means possible. But what does one do when one discovers one has unwillingly been part of the plot and actually helped move the weapons of destruction into place for the final phase of the takeover? For not only is a war to start but one with futuristic weaponry that might be pictured in a sci-fi movie with mega-robots and laser shooters razing New York City and all over-flying aircraft.

Such is the situation in which Rube finds himself, and it is his wife, a former government aide, who forces him to wake up and realize exactly what is taking over the nation. He and Coleman just happen to be at the side where the revolution begins, a scene that will keep you hanging on the edge of your seat while you read.

The plot doesn't slow down any during the rest of the story, although there is plenty of discussion about political theories, how America does or does not resemble the rise and fall of the Roman empire or even how most Americans are blind to precisely what is the aim of the terrorists abroad or those at home who claim to be fighting them in the name of "freedom."

It's a complex plot that unravels through these pages, but one just has to applaud Card for his ability to see beyond the surface of what we all accept in a simplistic fashion. It may even get the reader thinking - before the next election campaign really gets swinging into full gear!

Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on January 12, 2007

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