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The Fifteenth Article Kindle Edition
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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The Fifteenth Article
The reason, I suspect, reveals itself in the basic stance of the story as a romance as opposed to a dystopian thriller. With a quick run in my head, I count five romances and I believe I am forgetting a few. In retrospect, I see the tale as a tale of relationships with short shrift given to the worldbuilding. The only word I can think of to describe the book is dense. Part of this comes because I am a fantasy scifi reader with little interest in the relationship focus of this book. For me, I would have rather had more descriptions of the world built. It made suspension of disbelief more difficult than I liked.
However, the book probably sings for romance readers. The interrelationships of the characters are dealt with in depth. Far too many people die for my taste—though there is little graphic violence. The overall negativity of the world presented continues throughout with little respite. This dystopian aspect interferes with the story—strange as that may sound.
The resolution comes quickly—almost entirely in the epilogue. Morally, the end does not really bring satisfaction. But I was pleased that things were all resolved.
Most of my vague discontent comes from the lack of spiritual reality. Part of that results from the absence of scripture in the lives of most. Biblical knowledge comes from the dim past. The story lies completely outside current prophetic reality about the Coming King. I found that disquieting. In addition, I desired a lot more spiritual content. The Christianity is religious with “the Lord works in mysterious ways” machinations. There’s no Jesus, no Holy Spirit, no spiritual enemy. The religion is strongly felt by the believers and has positive results, but the how and why are completely missing.
The real problem probably lies within me. Many will enjoy the book. But, I’ve grown tired and bored by entertainment. I want meat—milk will not do. I've read a lot of fiction which meets that standard.
The political level probably requires adult knowledge and experience—though mature teens will enjoy it. I imagine many will enjoy the book a lot.
I was given a review copy by the publisher with no strings attached.
The genre is probably best described as Christian Dystopian, as the story involves the rebuilding of society after a catastrophic collapse. Such plots invariably have a struggle by the individual for something, but the something tends to reflect something seen as important by the author. Here, the recovery has advanced to the point where America is ruled by a Constitutional Government, which maintains a ruthless rule over its citizens in certain cities, the main one of which is America Prime. Some citizens have defected, essentially an act of treason, and have formed a Network in the outlands, land that has been neglected by the Constitutional Government because it was considered "unusable". The laws in America Prime are repressive, especially towards religion, and tend to be enforced with death as the main punishment, often delivered on the spot by enforcement officers. Life in the outlands is basic.
The book opens with Bridget, the daughter of a Governor, attempting to smuggle religious icons for safe keeping in a desert hideaway, and she is being pursued by a single-minded enforcement officer. We then find that President Schumann is to be euthanized, to be replaced by Edwin Rowlands, a dictatorial person with a passion for utopia, at least his version of it. The book then follows the maneuvers of Rowlands as he sets about to take over the outlands, the way the outlands respond, how some seek religious freedom, and the political chicanery of people in various camps, sometimes in more than one camp. It seems civilization is headed for civil war, particularly after Rowlands' wife, Michael, defects. The political tensions and chicanery grow. The writing style is clear and progresses at a good pace. The author shows clear imagination, and it is definitely an interesting read.
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I agreed to read this book, knowing very little about it or the author, Linda Wood Rondeau.Read more