Thursday, March 22, 2018

Book: Omar El Akkad's "American War"

Finally!  After a couple mediocre reads I find an interesting, thought provoking book.  Omar El Akkad's "American War" describes a second civil war in the America's near future.

In a future where the coastlines of the USA have been drastically changed by climate change (Florida is now the Sea of Florida) a war stretching from 2074 to 2095 starts when the federal government outlaws the burning of fossil fuels.  The states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia,and South Carolina succeed from the union starting a twenty year guerilla war fought with drones and suicide vests.  The scariest speculation involves the use of a virus to pacify the southern uprising resulting in the quarantine of the entire state of South Carolina.

The story is told following a young southern girl and her family as they escape the front lines to a refugee camp.  We watch the six year old girl become more and more radicalized as the war drags on ending in the greatest act of revenge imaginable.

This is a dystopian novel but it feels like it could be next week.  The only fault I can find is the lack of technological advancement in the fifty years before the start of the war.  Technology, except for a few mentions of solar power, is generally ignored in the telling of the history of despair and warfare.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I just hope it doesn't become too real anytime soon.

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