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United States of Japan Paperback – March 1, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"40 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books That Will Rock Your World In 2016" -io9
"Spring 2016 Top 10 SF, Fantasy, & Horror" -Publisher's Weekly
"16 Sci-Fi Things to Look Forward To In 2016" -Popular Mechanics
"150 Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Books to Look Forward To in 2016" -Kirkus Reviews
"A perfect patchwork of multiple sci-fi and anime subgenres rolled into one novel." -Esquire
"This is a darkly fun, clever, and unrelentingly ambitious book." -Kameron Hurley, Hugo Award-winner and author of The Mirror Empire
"In USJ, Tieryas finds a way to incorporate gaming, history and an alternative 'what if' scenario into a creative sci-fi, action-packed, profound, and solemn narrative." -Kotaku TAY
"A hell of a ride, with multiple POVs and plot twists as history is written and rewritten right in front of you. It's a challenging book with an ending as powerful as the iron grip of the godlike Emperor." -Lightspeed
"A compelling read, thoroughly entertaining, and the ultimate "what if?" story." -Cemetery Dance
"Mind-twisting and fiercely imaginative; Tieryas fuses classic sci-fi tradition with his own powerful vision." -Jay Posey, author of Legends of the Duskwalker series, writer at Ubisoft/Redstorm
"It's a tense and intriguing read, a blend of alt history and cyber punk and thriller. 1988 California where San Diego is a razed landscape home to American rebels, and Japanese mechas patrol the coast? Heck yes!" -Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger
"A really intriguing book, one that jumps nicely off of the coattails of Philip K. Dick and instead of simply copying what had come before, has ventured out and created something wholly new, interesting and exciting to read." -io9 Gizmodo
"Fast paced, well researched, and with believably complex characters, this was quite difficult to put down. This should appeal to the general science fiction reader, the Japanophile, and the alternate history enthusiast alike." -Fanboy Comics
"It grips its reader from the start in a believable alternate history and an intriguing mystery, the right blend of action and suspense melded with a cyberpunk vibe." -SFF Book Corner
"The United States of Japan is a tremendous book, it's got a wonderfully dark and rich atmosphere, great action, intelligent and twisted story and above all not only does it pay homage to one of the finest authors of the 20thcentury but also continues one of his most celebrated and yet most difficult works -- simply wonderful." -SF Book Reviews
"Its depiction of America in the latter 20th century under Japanese rule is great and very well thought out (look, anything that involves giant mecha is a winner in my book) and the alternate technologies that exist, some of them decades ahead of their time are quite cool." -Rick O'Shea, Broadcaster RTE2fm
"Mecha, alternate history, video games? Yes, please!" -SF Signal
"United States of Japan is a powerful book, unsettling at times--surreal and hypnotic." -Richard Thomas, author of Breaker and Disintegration
About the Author
Peter Tieryas is a character artist who has worked on films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Alice in Wonderlandand Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. His novel, Bald New World, was listed as one of Buzzfeed's 15 Highly Anticipated Books as well as Publishers Weekly's Best Science Fiction Books of Summer 2014. You can find Peter Tieryas online at his website and @TieryasXu on Twitter.
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That said, this is a fun story which is ultimately an "us against corrupt government" story with more creativity than twists and thrills. If you're a fan of mecha anime, take this title with a grain of salt; this is more Evangelion than Gundam (Tomino doesn't get a nod in the acknowledgements).
The mechs are taller than skyscrapers, and the story really focuses on the characters. That said, the mech battles are a lot of fun; three in all.
It's worth picking this up, especially as there is room for more in this universe with one of the heroes, who has the best character development of the whole novel. But know that there is a lot of wilting flowery language.
There are a couple battle scenes involving the giant mecha, semi-robotic warriors, but this is NOT primarily a war or battle story. It's more of a psycho-thriller set in an alternate version of today.
The characters were largely believable even if sometimes a few concepts felt a little hard to visualize. My only gripe is that occasionally the writing seemed to feel out of place with the larger material available. This only happened a handful of times but when it did happen it really pulled me out of the experience.
The end of the book sort of ramps up quickly in a way that seemed to sneak up on me out on nowhere. I'm not sure I enjoyed the ending but it was fitting for the story told. Me not liking the ending has nothing to do with its quality though, so don't take it that I think the ending is "bad". I do hope we get another book in this world, maybe a perspective from a German or GW? Either way, I am definitely willing to be invested in this world and see where it goes.