LibraryThing, of which I am a member runs a program where members are shipped early copies of books for free, with the preference for them writing a review when they’re done reading the book. The books are shipped by the publisher directly to the reviewers. This isn’t that uncommon in the publishing industry — both of my books have experienced a similar process, although less formal. A pre-release version of this book was provided by this mechanism. The pre-release had some quite annoying typographical and grammar errors. I assume they are corrected in the final published version.
I am a little conflicted about this story. On the one hand, the author comes from my home town, as do about 0% of popular authors. You can see he’s Australian in the text — several of the main characters are Australian, Greg Norman gets a cameo, and Tasmania is a hiding place of preference for refugees. On the other hand, I found this book a slow read. The story is good, and the ideas very interesting. The story is good too, with most chapters ending with a hook to keep you going. On the other hand, I just couldn’t get into the story for some reason… It just seems like the situation keeps getting worse for the characters, and there is no hope for improvement. Perhaps that’s the problem — it turns out we’re screwed if the US disappears, and you could probably say that in a one page essay.
I really liked the ending of this book though, even though a lot of things which made me sad happened along the way. Like I said, I’m conflicted. In the end I guess it comes down to this — the book is well written, with a Clancy-like style without being a complete ripoff, and made me think about things I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about. The story is sad though.