Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Foreign Enemies and Traitors by Matt Bracken

 Bracken manages, in the last installment of the trilogy, to include just about all of the fear-based memes of the folks who despair of the path our country has taken in the last fifty years. The action shifts back to our old acquaintance, Phil Carson, who has decided it's too hot down in South America and is returning to his native land with a cargo of real coffee beans and solar panels, both of which are in high demand in an economically strapped and energy poor United States, after one disastrous event follows another.

Phil, himself, can't seem to avoid tragedy, and instead of sailing to Texas - one of the last beacons of freedom in the country - he is blown off course by a tropical storm and shipwrecked somewhere on the coast of North Carolina. After he comes to land, we get to follow along with Phil on his journey to try to reach either Texas or the other "free" territory formed by several states in the Northwest. Martial law has descended on most of the South, as the federal government tries to get all those racist rednecks who are clinging to their guns and religion to accept pacification. In support of that effort, President Jamal Tambor has imported foreign troops from the former Soviet Union and Africa to help out, after U.S. soldiers refused to fire upon their countrymen.

Good 'ole Bob Bullard turns up once more, as a deniable liaison between the White House and the Kazaks pacifying Tennessee, where Carson runs into a few hitches in his journey, spending time in a relocation camp until he can ally with an Army doctor who is willing to help him on his way for the cargo on Phil's boat. There are still a few freedom fighters on the loose in Tennessee, and Phil joins them in their fight against the feds and their foreign allies.

A pretty good conclusion to the trilogy, but I hope Bracken gets around to writing about how things get put back together again someday.

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