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Blood Republic Paperback – June 15, 2016
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"Thrilling in its depiction of political culture gone wrong, and terrifying because it's so possible." ...Jeffery Hess, editor of 'Home of the Brave' and author of 'Beachhead'
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At its heart, it’s an entertaining case study in divisiveness—one side against the other, party against party, sister against brother--framed in the high stakes world of politics. As such, it sounds familiar. Blood Republic’s apocalyptic story follows the United States for one year in its lead up to a second civil war and can serve as a warning that we need to seek peaceful solutions lest we see special forces storming the Oval Office, too.
Three things stand out to me about Blood Republic.
First, as has been pointed out in other reviews, is the recognition of events that eerily parallel those we hear about every day—overly excessive competition for electoral votes, poisoning a river in Michigan, racial profiling, Black Lives Matter, and more. We’ve all been there and, unfortunately, we haven’t left.
The second is the strength of Duncan’s writing as shown in the vivid pictures he paints in each scene. In fine, but not too cumbersome detail, he describes the setting, people, situations and feeling in such a way it seemed I was there in the scene with them.
And then there are the strange characters in the novel. At times they seem to be straight out of Dr. Strange Love or M.A.S.H., with illicit pill-popping, assassination endorsement, sexual liaisons, blackmail, and more. At other times they seem so eerily like members of our current political system, I could almost name them. Then there is that creepy albino guy with a snake tattoo…
Through all of this, Duncan weaves a strange love-hate, on again/off again, focus on the spiritual, especially how it can be influenced by years-old relationships with an overbearing and abusive, father.
Blood Republic is an entertaining and frightening look at current politics as well as the divided world we live in, which makes it a great read.