Sunday, 16 January 2011
Book Review: State of Rebellion - A Pug Connor Novel by Gordon Ryan
This book was provided by the author to a number of users on the Amazon forums in return for honest reviews. When I read the synopsis it struck me as the type of book I would enjoy so onto my kindle it went.
The basic premise of the book is that there are shadowy forces at work in the state of California who, for their own means, want the the state to secede and become a republic. They are in the background manipulating events to their own ends. The idea of secession has struck a note with various militia organisations and indeed a section of the public who has had enough with what is seen as ever-increasing federal interference. A series of crimes take place, all carefully planned to advance the cause.
The character of the title isn't the main character in this book, but he does play a key role and the book has set up his background and credentials for the next in the series. Instead the main protagonist is Dan Rawlings, an administrator and novelist who finds himself struggling to choose between his loyalties to the USA and to California. I thought the main characters were well drawn and I empathised with Dan for what we are told he has been through and what he goes through in the book. I don't know if he will make an appearance in further books but I hope so.
I would describe this more as a political intrigue than a thriller or action novel. I found the idea that this could potentially happen intriguing and despite feeling there was something of a lull in the middle of the book was hooked by all the twists and turns the events took.
I have a couple of criticisms though. Firstly there are a lot of acronyms used, especially in relation to military terms. I expect to an American reader they would probably be obvious but no so to me. Using the term they stand for in full before turning to the acronym would have been helpful. Secondly I was slightly perplexed by a scene which takes place in London, where a car hits a corner water hydrant which then spouts a geyser. We've all seen it on tv and in movies but I can't remember having ever seen a corner water hydrant in London, or elsewhere in the UK. They may exist but to me it stuck out as being incongruous and it distracted me a bit while I puzzled over it.
Overall I found this an interesting book with a storyline that was all the more fascinating for it's plausibility. I will certainly be reading the second book in due course.