Anti-Racist versus colorblind 2064: Woke Wars

Anti-Racist versus Colorblind 2064: Woke Wars assumed published copyright and written by Winthrop Rosenberg.

The story opens with the assumed protagonist introducing himself as Edmund Hsu in the year 2064. He explains that he always has felt like a human being. He has existed in a body and existed in a broader world but that his humanity has never been his body or station in life nor any other aspect that could define him. Thus, to rephrase, he might be characterized as an abstract wandering around observing and taking some part in this world that has become a strange place dominated by a society that now is racist in the extreme. He compares 1964 which basically promised freedom and opportunity to all if they worked hard and didn’t break laws with the present year of 2064 a land where social and economic opportunities are rationed out to members of different racial categories in accord with their race’s overall percentage of the nation’s population and where freedom, particularly in terms of speech, association and movement are significantly curtailed. The restrictions on speech are to minimize anyone hearing criticism of the system that those in power deem “racist”, and the restrictions on association and movement are to ensure that different institutions and geographic districts in nations borders are properly designated, unless one is in one of the sporadic designated racial “safe spaces” that have been established, which allow a race exclusivity in a particular area or organization. The new regime designates its population to consist of 7 categories for a population of 450 million with a dominant 51% Hispanics. The manner in which divisions are made is described and the resultant resentment against these “Wokes” who had “viciously perpetrated a despicable, patronizing, murderous, dehumanizing, and disgusting racial cast system” finally bubbled to overflowing and the “Third Civil War” begins. The attendant activity is provided in detail along with those of the protagonist and the total over viewed in the final Chapter 7 Epilogue dated 22 December, 2098.

Discussion: The author has presented a satire on the repetitive activity of governments that keep evolving into dystopia and/or complete self-destruction. The basic plot can be described perhaps as a ‘personalization of history with projection for the future’. For history buffs it provides recall of various activities of any number of governments going back to the Chinese Dynasties. Assignment of a specific rating level is difficult for this reviewer. The plot is especially pertinent to the present situation within this country of overabundance of the assignment of the term ‘racist’ or ‘racism’. If the author’s acceptable description of the protagonist’s mental attitude is loosely applied, the characters are adequate. The pace, although somewhat slowed at times by extended discourse, is acceptable. The overall message of each side attempting to justify the brutality and/or atrocities they undertake in the name of justice and fairness is a position that demands respectful thought.

4* Reasons as described in discussion.

Erasing the Past

Erasing the Past Assumed published, copyright and written by Geri L. Dreiling.     

There is a sub-title stating that this is “A novel about love, betrayal and second chances” and genre suggestions that include fiction, sci-fi, suspense and romance. Prologue opens in Forrest Park, St. Louis with the Art Museum setting atop the green hill that descends to an area providing a superb view of the Grand Basin. The day is beautiful, young lovers are strolling arm-in-arm with the occasional shy kiss and all appears to be well with the world, except for one old man with a badly affected left arm who disconsolately seats himself on a convenient bench. He opens a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, spots a photograph of two people in the gossip column and begins to sob. A young woman asks if he is alright. He answers simply that he was alone, in his pain, his regret and his pain, but that was not always the way. Once upon a time he, and they, were happy but that all is changed. His “future has vanished, and the present laid waste; all because the past was erased”. The first chapter then opens in April of 2008, and thus begins a tale of seeming remorse by an old man who regrets his life-long self-centered activities and rigid thought patterns that have ruined his life and driven the love of his life into the arms of another man as well as ruining his career. His life possibly may not be as he believes at this point in time however, but providing further details of the story would be a huge disservice to potential readers.

Discussion: The author has set forth a story about a self-centered man with a deep love for a beautiful woman who basically and most unfortunately, places a great amount of emphasis on personal appearance although also with a driving internal need to have children. However, he is not without faults in that he is self-centered with a degree of paranoia and an underlying rigidity in the fundamental roles of the man and woman in a marital situation. These differences provide the basis of this well-written, only slightly flawed, tale of their impact upon an otherwise happy marriage of twenty plus years.

5* Interesting marital relationship the book’s subtitle well describes.

One If

ONE IF, A Virago Fantasy. Metropolitan Publishing copyright and written by Carol B. Allen.

The story: A young teen-age Parker Kittredge is fascinated by a hummingbird that seemingly tries to get her attention through the window of her high-rise apartment. She opens the door onto the balcony where she slips and falls over the railing. She blanks out only to regain consciousness in a strange place in the sky where she meets Stefanos, a huge Eagle who is the Sky King, speaks perfect English and is introduced to the fact that she now is in Spyridon, a land like earth, in the same galaxy but on a different time line and unseen by planet earth. The inhabitants are like humans but because their planet is disintegrating they have had gradually to transform to this bird-like form to survive. She has been kidnapped because the country’s ruling body believed Earth children might be able to help them to survive. The children, after providing the help would be returned actually with no time lapse between leaving and returning because of the time difference. More children arrive but refuse to stay and help and are returned immediately except for Henley, a rather obnoxious girl about her own age and Edison, a dark skinned boy of similar age who seems attached to Henley. These three first are given a tour of the country by riding on the backs of severe-looking Falcons. First stop is Katamoor, the largest and last remaining real land mass on the continent on Spyridon and the most sacred place on their planet where the abundant and mangrove-like Virago trees house the ancestral spirits of these inhabitants of ‘the Upperworld’.

Next stop, the Citadel which is the Sky King’s Castle. Here Belliza, their kindly little hummingbird usual guide tells them they are to be introduced to the Great Onez, azzaviorz (apparently all s’s are z’s in her speech) of the planet. The celebration is the expected beginning of no shortage of clean water, food, etc. but rather a bright future because of arrival of the three children who would be able to solve why their water supply was turning bad and other problems.

At the celebration there is a big explosion with the deaths of a large number of the huge group of inhabitants that have gathered for the celebration. It is here the reader learns of the Underworld, a second part of the kingdom which lies beneath the Spyridon Sea. The underworld leaders are Empress Diadora and her brother Commanding General Pantione. They had fought a vicious war twenty years ago which the Upperworld had won, but supposedly both worlds wanted to keep the status quo. Though they had thought their water toxicity was just the environment, on testing they discovered traces of poison so they are suffering at the hands of a very clever and careful evil person. Stefanos depends upon his cousin, an old falcon named Vibius, who suspects the Underworld is beginning another war. The Earth children also meet

Great Cole, a young man who can live in both worlds (as can other earth people before they become adults). He came from earth as a child, is Parker’s age, blond, handsome and covered with soft golden feathers like a soft down and has wings that fit closely into his back. He tells Stefanos he doesn’t think the Underworld wants war but will discover the truth. The story continues with fast action portraying dystrophic results that can be avoided if there is a continuation of similar activities on Earth as a lesson that can be instilled in young minds. The climax is fascinating and could present many possibilities for future volumes.

Discussion: An interestingly written fantasy that should provide appealing thoughts for young minds developing in this period of extensive discussion on earth’s problems and the manner in which its inhabitants have, and are continuing to treat it.

5* Thoughtful lessons delivered for teens in a very enjoyable fantasy.

The Big Tilt

THE BIG TILT ISBN: 9781733610360 Arjuna Books copyright and written by Dan Flanigan.

This is the second book in the Peter O’Keefe series and centers around the activities of this former Marine who finally, with help from a one-time almost inseparable friend, beats drug and alcohol dependency. He now is separated from his wife who went through the ordeal with him but still is close to his 11-year-old daughter, runs a PI business with 2 employees supported by his faithful now successful lawyer friend who is his best client. The story follows Peter as he becomes a target for elimination because he is coming too close in an investigation he is conducting involving characters going back to his high school days, many associated with a trial in which his lawyer/friend is involved. This he does not need, since he already has been targeted by one branch of a Mafioso group because he had been responsible for the incarceration of its Don who died in prison. The action accelerates gradually as the tale progresses and the targeting action is affected by troubles within the Mafioso group and somewhat complicated interwoven activity among the numerous characters from the same early school days.

Discussion: As a lawyer himself, the author is well qualified to present this story of intrigue involving legal complications. The tale’s earlier portions offer some confusion assumedly because much of the material is based upon the series’ first book. Once past this part, however, the story accelerates and the reader finds it intriguing to attempt to discover how Peter, as well as other empathetic figures, are going to make out.

4* 5* story; -1* as stand-alone; i.e. Book 1 required for easier understanding

Fatal Decision

Fatal Decision ISBN: 9781735918204 WolfPrint Publishing and copyright written by T. K. Wolf.

Sam (antha) Harker is a seemingly cold-blooded killer with almost unbelievably developed skills required to function in her chosen field. Now in her twenties, her activities are the result of two closely associated factors. First, disruption of a happy childhood by the death of her mother and father, as well as almost deadly injuries to herself at sixteen years of age, by a drunken driver. Second, exoneration of the driver by legal counsel supplied by Delphi, a shadowy group involved in extensive unsavory performance and frequent murders as well as other deadly activity within the country and throughout the world. She finds a way to join the group, becomes an increasingly valuable asset until an opportunity arises for her to leave, an action literally considered a suicidal act, because to leave was to die because of their wide control of worldwide investigative elements as well as control of key personnel in all levels of government including law enforcement. After successfully accomplishing her disassociation with the organization she instigates disruptive activity costing them extensive loses while each time escaping with minimal personal damage. One evening she meets an attractive man who is a former medic serving with the U.S. Marine Corp. She continues the relationship, which unfortunately opens her to Delphi’s surveillance. They capture the two and use her feeling of responsibility for him by initiating his torture. Through intervention by another operative who was somewhat allied with her because of an equal desire to take down Delphi, an escape is provided. However, there are a number of conditions that must be met and the story continues to follow Sam as she wends her way through an involved series of treacherous acts, deceit, betrayals, and more involving numerous members of Delphi as well as companions of her supposed helper while feeling a total responsibility for ruining her lover’s life, although he also demonstrates an effectiveness on his own part.

Discussion: This is a wild ride with non-stop action while the protagonist performs incredible feats of ‘Deering-do’ as she struggles to survive, keep her lover alive and still continue her attempts to ruin Delphi. This is a high octane thriller for all readers who enjoy non-stop action.

5* High octane thriller for devotees of non-stop action.

The Batter’s Box

The Batter’s Box ISBN: 9781944353230 Warriors Publishing Group Copyright and written by Andy Kutler.

This is a historical novel described by the author as “A novel of baseball, war and love”. The story portrays the life of a young Midwesterner who attains star status as a major league baseball player who, at the top of his game, enlists in WWII shortly after the U.S. entered the war. It follows his experiences as he participates in some of the most vicious hand-to-hand combat in the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ that took place in defense of Bastogne and returned to regain his former baseball status only to be plagued by mental problems that only now many years later finally have been properly titled PTSD. During his baseball days he had met and retained a most unusual relationship with a beautiful young woman married to an abusive husband. Their meetings were intermittent because although immensely attracted, he would not admit he had met someone he truly could love deeply. However, during dark periods during lulls between vicious bouts of bloody hand-to-hand fighting, memories of her were the only thing that kept him wanting to survive. He does survive and returns to again attain his position of prominence in baseball, although greatly changed from the ‘nice’ person he had been. Plagued by nightmares and with his new confrontational attitude so prominent, his manager insists upon his seeing a psychiatrist. Unwillingly he does and receives advice that he ignores until once again he meets the woman whose thoughts kept him alive during some of his most desperate periods of combat and the tale progresses through confusing months for the two actual soul-mates as they attempt to reach some ultimate mutually rewarding goal.

Discussion: The author has set forth one of the finest books on the features leading up to development of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) this reviewer ever has read. Descriptions so graphically depicted that it may cause unwanted thoughts/images to recur in veterans with similar experiences. The baseball details will bring back many remembrances for those readers old enough to have known these days and provide many details about the game and those playing it at the time for younger readers. The love story is most thoughtfully included and poignant at times.

5* Must read for anyone interested in “baseball, war and/or love”.