By John Keillor, 2021
Summary: Governments have been destroyed worldwide by global catastrophe except in Alberta, Canada. But when malevolent forces try to take over, Albertans put up a ferocious fight to keep their freedom.
Originally reviewed on Reedsy/Discovery.
It’s 2031. Twelve years ago a worldwide catastrophe destroyed the internet and disabled governments. Many human brains were also “ruined” when the atmosphere “was transformed into a microwave oven.” One of few stable societies remaining is in Alberta, Canada. But malevolent forces are converging to invade the province, exploit its natural resources, and enslave its citizens.
Maleficent forces afoot include the Chinese. They want to “annex” Alberta for the Vladivostok Cartel, a greedy overseas corporation that’s “in the process of building an empire.”
But Albertans aren’t exactly taking an imminent invasion lying down. In fact, combat operators – the backbone of provincial security – are soon forced to choose between Calgary’s mayor and the “Richies,” the city’s monied families who like to throw their weight around. Their children are leading enemy forces straight to Alberta. Soon two of the region’s most formidable operators – Abraham McKinley and his son, Zach – are in the cross-hairs. They’re in danger of losing everything if the mayor is toppled and the cartel succeeds.
A skilled combat veteran newly returned from years of war in California, Zach McKinley comes home to find his province, his family, and his future teetering on the edge of extinction. To save it all, he must prove himself in battle once again. And what about lovely Rachel Coe of the Blackfoot tribe, recently kidnapped and held hostage? Can Zach save her, too? Can Zach dodge the progs – young “progressive nationalists” – long enough to thwart an invasion?
Meanwhile, unusual alliances emerge. Loyalties are tested. The Hold My Beer line forms. And Zach and his friends soon learn that Traitors are worse than enemies.
There’s a lot going on in this book. Think Red Dawn meets The Postman in this high-octane adventure/thriller dystopian novel. Plenty of action coupled with vivid descriptions of the region and robust characters propel the plot forward with lightning speed. It will have you turning pages until the very end.
The story racks up a large body count early on and keeps on going because Zach’s answer to almost everything is to kill someone. Not really my cuppa. But fans of dystopian action-adventure novels will find it a brisk read.
This is the first book in the McKinley Chronicles. It represents a remarkable achievement for an emerging author. For fans of dystopian/thriller/adventure novels, the next installment will certainly be worth the wait.
October 27, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Sounds up my alley but still not sure if I want to read it. Hope you’re all doing well.
October 27, 2021 at 5:01 pm
I hear ya. It’s an engaging action/adventure story for a specific target audiemce. ( I prefer the ‘kinder and gentler’ variety.)