In the year 2042, the United States is rebounding from a series of terrorist attacks and upheaval that has left the former Secretary of State as the new President. In the aftermath, she has had to make the harrowing decision to turn two states into energy territories, displacing all of the people there. Redmond Pierce is the CEO of Universal Industries that is in charge of extracting all of the resources from the land. His heartless approach hasn’t escaped the President or her son, Finn who is just outside the territories collecting water samples. Red sets out to stop Finn from divulging what is in the water samples, but Finn makes an escape and finds aid in an unlikely companion, River, an army vet doing long hauls in the energy territory. Against River’s Instincts she chooses to help Finn and finds herself risking her life for a stranger and finding out who she can trust.

48 States is a dystopian thriller that shows what can happen when greed and power take over. A strong beginning threw me into the story with amazing characters. I loved River’s character from the beginning as she stood up for herself within the territory of mostly men. River is strong both physically and mentally, but that is not her entire character. As the story unfolds, River’s backstory is revealed so we can see her many layers, tragedies that she has overcome and why she chose the difficult journey that she did. When Finn and River find one another, the suspense increases. Finn’s character is mysterious and honest. I enjoyed seeing him and River interact as they learned how to trust people once again. With this trust, they are able to bring the President evidence of Universal’s environmental mismanagement. River and Finn’s romance built naturally and did not get in the way of the story. While fate seemed to bring them together, they truly made one another whole. The climate and terrorism aspects of the story were intriguing to me. I was wondering how the US got themselves into the situation they are in since it does not seem too far off from where we are now. There are bits of that backstory explained, but not fully explored. Red’s characters symbolized many of the ways of thinking that are detrimental to society, a power-hungry misogynist with dangerous ideals and belief systems. While Red’s character seemed a bit over the top, there are definitely people just like this in the world. 48 States is an emotional, surprising, yet realistic dystopian thriller.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review

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