Published: December 2015
Publisher: Mirror Matter Press
2035 A.D. After the 2nd American Civil War Jack Pasternak, a laid-back California doctor, receives a garbled distress call from his fiancée in Maryland before her transmissions stop altogether. Unfortunately for Jack, citizens of the Blue States are no longer allowed to cross Red America. He is faced with an impossible choice: ignore his lover's peril or risk his own life and sanity by venturing into the dark heart of The Red States. When the armies of the Mexican Reconquista come marching into Los Angeles, Jack's hand is forced and he heads east in an old-fashioned gas guzzling car.
We start out with Jack, who is a pretty funny fellow, full of the dark, witty, Kozeniewski humor that I've always enjoyed in his novels. We're introduced to him while he faces a firing squad and with that silver tongue of his, manages to stall and tell the story of how he came into the predicament. It turns out to be quite the tale and had his executor, as well as the reader, compelled to know more.
There were a few changes in the future, not a whole lot of technological changes, but the country has divided and no one seems able to see eye to eye anymore, it's all about controlling one another. There's also the change in swear words. The F word (though it does still exist) is now frell. Kind of reminded me of "Battlestar Galactica" with a few of the swear-changes. You can change the word, but you can't change the meaning!
The adventure was a lot of fun to listen to, and how Jack managed to get through each of them is never predictable and keeps the reader on their toes. Most of his antics and the humor injected into the writing kept me wanting to know more.
As is usual, diversity of any caliber is accepted in Kozeniewski's novels, which I liked. I can't say that I much cared about the war, mostly it was about the characters like Jack, Haly, Grenade, and even Graves. They made the story churn and created something fun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
During his time as a Field Artillery officer he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where, due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. The depiction of addiction in his fiction is strongly informed by the three years he spent working at a substance abuse clinic, an experience which also ensures that he employs strict moderation when enjoying the occasional highball of Old Crow.
He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s is in German.
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