An adept and chilling cautionary tale—the narrative equivalent of brass knuckles to the skull.Kirkus, Starred Review
Blending elements of apocalyptic fiction, dystopian thriller, and timely political drama, this novel is set in an America on the brink of collapse.
After much of the country’s leadership is assassinated by terrorists in a coordinated attack at the White House, Secretary of State Elizabeth Cunningham reluctantly becomes the American president. In an effort to not have to rely on Middle Eastern oil, Cunningham evacuates millions of people from North Dakota and Wyoming in order to turn them into oil-producing “Energy Territories.” These territories, run by a ruthless security firm, quickly become lawless areas where anything goes. Army veteran and widow Jennifer “River” Petersen is a trucker in the territories. Her goal is to make enough money to pay off her debts so that she can get back to her young daughter and mother back in Idaho. When she helps a man bleeding in the middle of the road one night, she inadvertently entangles herself in a grand-scale conspiracy where nothing short of the future of America—and its very soul—is at stake. Powered by impeccably deep character development (every major player is insightfully explored, particularly River) and a storyline that may not seem so far-fetched after recent political events—book bans, federal curfews, and digital identity chips—Davis creates a terrifying near future. In this world, fear, hatred, and intolerance are irrevocably redefining the country and what it means to be an American: “We don’t allow anarchists and women with headscarves to roam our streets.” With a breakneck pace from the first page to the last, this book is so much more than just a well-written dystopian thriller. The questions that the author raises should resonate with readers long after the novel is finished.An adept and chilling cautionary tale—the narrative equivalent of brass knuckles to the skull.
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