Most post-apocalyptic stories are based on a premise that requires some suspension of disbelief and this book is one of them. Russia reverts to a communist government and makes an alliance with the nuclear-armed North Korea, Belarus and Iran. The Russians also pass several nuclear weapons into the hands of Islamic terrorists with plans to attack the west. Then, in a sequence of acts of nuclear terror, the Islamic bombs are packed in vehicles and used to destroy major American and western cities. Additional nuclear weapons are launched from North Korea, Belarus and Iran, wiping out additional installations and crippling the American response capability. In a final salvo, American, British and French nuclear weapons are used to eliminate the initial attacking nations and then there is a small nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia. This scenario requires a major suspension of disbelief because it is claimed that it was a 40-bomb war. After Russia has emerged as the victor, the leadership cynically uses nuclear weapons to destroy the major Islamic cities, killing off their former allies. The allied Russian and Chinese armies then invaded the United States and that occupation has been in place for two decades. Any overt act of resistance is brutally crushed, punishable by death, although there is still an active resistance movement that is nationwide but weak and fragmented. Nearly everything is in short supply and almost all Americans are forced to remain in their designated areas. Any travel must be approved and the necessary papers carried at all times. Due to a fortunate misfire, Chicago was only partially destroyed and it is now a major attraction for Russian, Chinese and other tourists. An industry has grown up based on that fact and Paul Saxon is a tour guide for the American version of Intourist. His brother George is a professor at a local university and there are many other characters both in and out of the local resistance. The current leader of Russia is on a tour of the United States and Chicago is one of the stops. This leads to a grand plot against the Russians, an attempt to strike a blow against the brutal invaders. It is naturally a complex plot involving turncoats of many stripes, some freelancers that complicate matters and the always dangerous and ruthless operatives of the resurgent KGB. If you can accept the initial premise, then this is a very good story. The author has clearly paid a great deal of attention to the military occupations of the twentieth century and how both the conquerors and the conquered behaved during the occupations. Some of the people make their peace with the situation and live within it the best way they can, others spend their time currying favor with the dominant ones, still others carry out largely useless personal gestures and finally some engage in deep and dangerous plots that just might alter the situation.
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Charles Ashbacher (CharlesAshbacher)
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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This is a future history novel. The events are timely. Russia returns to Communism secretly arming terrorist Islam to win a nuclear war. The 40 bomb war at the time of the American presidential inauguration in 2013 destroys the entire government. The story takes place later, in 2035, in Chicago, a city with an amazing leaning tower due to the nuclear war. The tale deals with the Saxon family, Paul, a tour guide for the Russians, his wife Christine, and their teen-aged children, Rudy, a university student who is immersed in a wildly torrid and really curious love affair, and Sarah, a maid at the luxurious Hilton Hotel. Here is life in a conquered America yet many have adjusted and are determined to be happy. All the people fit together in the fast moving ending becoming involved in an amazing event that may destroy or save them. Here is a love story, a mystery, and a suspenseful adventure tale.