Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: American War

American War American War by Omar El Akkad
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. I had to take a bit after I finished American War and just sit there, soaking it all in. What an utterly timely and brutal novel to read.

I am constantly fascinated by post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and futuristic fiction. I love people's conceptualizations of a world in ruin- for whatever that says about me. I wasn't disappointed by El Akkad's ideas. The ravages of climate change on the United States seemed probable and terrifying. There were a couple points where I had to suspend my disbelief- the fact that the North and South split over the ban of oil was debatable, in my opinion, and I find that there are far more believable reasons for the secession to take place (although perhaps the choice was oil was intentional, regardless of believability).

The characters are beautifully depicted and complex, but I didn't feel an emotional attachment to them, which is perhaps my only knock on the novel. Regardless, the deft way in which El Akkad crafts the story left me gasping at the end as we find out more about key characters and decisions they make which change the course of history.

The more I read the reviews of others, the more that I let this novel ruminate with me, the more I come to realize that it has so many layers. The depth of emotion and thought in this novel left me breathless.

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