The Chaos of Change

 

The Chaos of Change, Part One of a thriller written, Copyright and published in e-book by J. T. Riggen.

The book opens with a quote from George Washington: “The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.” This quote is followed by the text which opens in Boston where a group from the splinter group ‘Milam’ invades a meeting of the governors of the northeastern states and annihilates them in the name of the group. From this beginning the story unfolds as the divided country is split into actually two northern groups, the Untouchables led by the incompetent Governor of Massachusetts, Olivia O’Brian and former military officer Bloom, and the Federal North Pole group headed by Shane Wallace, the former dominant head of CIA and the less aggressive former V-P Martinez; a southern territorial group led by a former President of the country; a developing western group under a General Porter; and the Independent Nation of Milam spearheaded by Athenos Armistead, this splinter group in Texas. All are vying for power as the president is assassinated, the federal government dissolved and civil war is initiated. Added to the mix is Thaddeus Jackson whose father started the southern movement against which he, a conscientious liberal, objected, fought bitterly with his brother and left to build his own way of life outside of Sitka, Alaska; his friend Slink, a former Olympic snowboarder; Lozen Kyway a young American Indian/Italian woman CIA agent of unbeatable martial arts and similar skills and numerous other characters of varying importance to the plot. Wallace is convinced that Thaddeus is the man with the skills to become the leader to oversee the Broken Protocol, one that was devised initially actually by Thaddeus’ father when he was President to restore an interim government and return the country to a United States if this fractionation should occur. The story progresses through the various stages including the first actual clash of warring north and south factions to arrive at a point where the next volume is to begin.

The book provides a rather jaundiced but probably quite accurate look at a type of chaotic situation that easily could develop if such extensive disintegration should occur. It is one filled with duplicity, deceit, deception, subterfuge, betrayal and cruelty perpetrated by biased, mostly incompetent individuals. The author’s underlying thoughts in presenting this complicated plot no doubt stem from the unbelievably convoluted direction in which the now rather un-United States seems to be moving. We have Sanctuary Cities and even States, the Police are vilified, perpetrators of crime are caught red-handed, yet are not guilty until tried and convicted, where they might NOT be convicted if their lawyer is sufficiently astute to pick up even a minor error in protocol. We have elected officials who are totally engrossed in personal accomplishment and gain. Lying, deceit, and corruption extend from the very top down to lower levels of government and the judiciary, who supposedly provide the necessary control, even are highly suspect of unjudicial activity. Perhaps even more depressing is that segments of the population not only do not seem to care but actually, for unimaginable reasons actually appear to condone.

This is a book that is difficult to classify with respect to reader’s interest. The tale is most interesting for the reasons cited. The storyline is quite involved with several complexities. More pragmatically inclined readers will find problems with some aspects of the action and scenes; e.g. the Alaska action; aspects of the North Pole colony and others. The book is plot based with little character development per se and difficulty in attaining much in the way of empathy with the characters; e.g. Thaddeus’ rather self-effacing, detached, even vague activity; reasons for decision that Thaddeus should be the designated one; Lozan’s personality?; numerous others.

In summary: An interesting scenario seemingly arising from present day political activity in the U.S. Anticipated reader enjoyment will be dependent upon personal value attached to each element as described.

3* 4* Provoking scenario; 3* reader acceptance variable as described.

City of Angels

City of Angels ISBN: 9780692894286, an e-book written, Copyright and published by K. Patrick.

The author has provided a story set in California that primarily addresses a prominent problem apparently existent well beyond that state. The book is dedicated “to the nearly half a million children in the United States living in foster care, group homes and institutions. And to the thousands among them who age out of the system each year and are forced to find their way of life with little or no support.” To tell his story as completely as possible, and yet attempt to make it an enjoyable read, he has proceeded to set forth 740+ pages divided into 94 chapters. He also has included a sizeable number of characters in several differing situations. Further, to very clearly define the situation, he presented these individuals as distinctly characteristic of the best and worst types representing each side of the equation. Because of the diverse nature of the situations and the number of differing characters, a more usual description of the quite involved plot would be more extensive than really would seem feasible in a review. So, very briefly, a young boy enters the system, grows to just two months away from leaving when he is accused and found guilty of a murder that incarcerates him for life. Later, it is discovered that he had been falsely accused. He is released and in a most dramatic fashion is able to bring about quite drastic change.

This is a well-written book dealing with a monstrous social problem by an author who is most knowledgeable about the existing conditions, the unprincipled individuals in prominent positions within the system itself, the dishonest ambitious and uncaring politicians and how these situations develop, especially when aided and abetted by the divisive, unprincipled manner in which the judiciary from judges and district attorneys’ down to various levels of the police can use any means to subvert justice if pressure ‘dictates’. The author additionally has a fine grasp of both amateur and professional boxing and of the prison system and the inmates.

This is a long read and does suffer toward the latter part from some breakdown in proofing, probably for this exact reason. HOWEVER, the author has provided a story that moves so well that this offers only momentary annoyance and nothing more.

Conclusion: A book that begins as a rather simple ‘tear-jerker’ and develops into a serious look at several huge societal problems all interwoven in a story ranging from brutality to poignancy with well-developed characters and conducted at a pace which makes the book difficult to put down.

5* Interwoven societal problems presented in most enjoyably readable fashion.