Book Review — “Collapse” by Richard Stephenson
Hello ladies and gentlemen! Happy Friday and welcome to the Casa!
I have an interesting read to offer today. “Collapse” is the first of a planned series of books written by Richard Stephenson about the fall of the United States of America and the birth of a new, totalitarian empire.
The United States is facing multiple issues of major concern. They are working with Europe to staunch the further growth of the Iranian Empire, covering up the full extent of the damage done to the state of Florida by a major hurricane, facing a second devastating hurricane in Texas, trying to protect its citizens from frequent and random terrorist attacks, and attempting to prevent civil unrest in most of the country from becoming all out riots. The fuse that finally explodes this powder keg is when an Iranian submarine detonates a nuclear device high in the atmosphere along the east coast. An Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) created from the blast knocks all electronics from Maine to the Midwest and sets in motion a plot by the Vice-President of the United States to seize control of the country.
We get to see the big story unfold from many different viewpoints: a Navy SEAL who escaped from prison to find his children, a small town sheriff and his deputy/girlfriend attempting to get as many people as possible safely out of the path of a hurricane, a genius billionaire who with Asperger’s Syndrome and the creator of the world’s first artificial intelligence, and the President’s Chief of Staff. I liked the narrative and the flow of the story, especially the scenes that don’t focus around the main characters and give you a glimpse into Florida and how the people there changed after the storm. Most of what happens in the story is plausible, although there were a few characters introduced simply for a body count. They get mentioned in one chapter, only to die in the next. There wasn’t enough development in those characters to make you feel bad when they died. That aside, I found the story hard to put down and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good end of the world story or thriller. I rate it a 3-3/4 stars out of 5.
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And always remember… Why so serious?