Author: Charles Sheehan-Miles
Genre: alternate history, thriller
Price: $17.95 (paperback) / $4.99 (Kindle
Publisher: Cincinnatus Press
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib
This blog (or at least this writer at this blog) has been a fan of Charles Sheehan-Miles since I devoured and loved his novel Republic (see my review). So, when I heard that he’d (finally!) released a sequel to that book, called Insurgent, I jumped at the chance to buy and read it.
I think the best way to summarize the book is to quote the description from the Amazon page:
Three months after the end of the West Virginia civil war, Valerie Murphy faces her worst fears as the violence escalates. Former Congressman Al Clark, now Governor of the bankrupt state, must quell an insurgency even as he struggles to put the state back together.
In a small town south of Charleston, West Virginia, Corporal Jim Turville faces combat, love and fear in a conflict which grows increasingly dangerous with every day.
As implied by the summary above, the book does start immediately after the events of Republic, but I think that enough of what happened in the previous book is explained in Insurgent to allow people to catch up. Sheehan-Miles’ view of a future America is not a pretty one, and can be charitably described as corporations and security theater run amuck.
Sheehan-Miles draws heavily on the events of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and paints an unstinting picture of insurgency. It’s a book where in one chapter rooting for troops under fire and in the next one mourning the death of an innocent civilian killed by those same troops because her house was in the line of fire.
Republic started with a terrorist attack in Washington, DC. In Insurgent, we start to see who (apparently) caused or at least enabled that attack, and let’s just say it’s not who you’d expect. Sheehan-Miles has little sympathy for extremists of any stripe, and he’s identified a group of extremists to play the “big bad” in this story that may surprise some people.
Insurgent is a gripping, exciting and well-written book, and highly recommended.