Secession: The Storm by Joe Nobody
This is the first Joe Nobody book I’ve ever read. Although I’m not exactly uninterested in the tactical/self-defense world, it’s not the first thing I gravitate towards and that’s how I have Joe Nobody pegged. The concept of secession is a preoccupation of mine, so I figured I’d give him a shot with this one.
First, I think he did a much better job of “showing” over “telling” than most authors in the genre. I think a lot of them get hung up on telling a story and can’t give it the punch it needs by making the reader feel the emotions/sensations that go along with the story. In other words, he’s a pretty good writer. Overall, it’s a good story and the dialogue is much more natural than others in the genre.
The story flashes between a disenchanted Texas Ranger, a presidential candidate (Hilary Clinton with her name tweaked a bit) and a small business owner who feels he’s been pushed around too much by the federal government after an incident in Hurricane Katrina and of course all of these stories intertwine during a period of political gridlock in the United States that brings the idea of Texas secession into public debate.
One of the major themes in the book is the role of law enforcement and some of the ethical debates that can come up, especially in a crisis and Nobody does a good job of addressing these dilemmas from all angles. It’s easy to make up a constitution-loving friendly police officer character and paint everything black or white, but there’s a lot of gray in the real world.
Not exactly a spoiler, but the book leaves room for a sequel or two. Texas does secede and Nobody lays out some of the arguments in favor and against it, but Texas as an independent nation really doesn’t factor into the story much at this point. I am looking forward to this sequel when it comes.