New America: Awakenings
Morning has dawned on New America. The sounds of gunfire and bombs greet the bleary eyes of Colton Jenkins. This is a near-daily occurrence. He and his family live in a settlement named New Bethlehem. The government has been consumed by a totalitarian dictatorship, where Christianity is the religion espoused and embraced, conformity is stressed, and differences are not tolerated. A civil war has torn the country asunder, now wars of race and religion have spread to the small towns. The towns are distinguished by their beliefs; now they more closely resemble ghettoes. Food is scarce, nutrition coming mainly from Protein bars. The town’s residents, such as Colton and his family, are overseen by a religious zealot named Catherine Shay. Catherine cloaks her true sadism within her pious faith.
New Bethlehem is subject to the new rules of New America. Religious observance is compulsory, and resistance can lead to arrest and execution during a televised “Ceremony of Peace.” A snitch culture pervades daily life, as do-gooders looking to curry favor with the government are apt to rat out their enemies. Colton’s father, Kyle, is a resistor who is on Catherine’s radar. After an attack allegedly carried out by opposing forces on their settlement, Colton searches for supplies to secure the windows of the family apartment. He is aided by Marshall, who resembles the local law enforcement. However, soon, Catherine’s hackles are raised, Kyle is accused of theft, and is about to be hauled away. Colton reacts quickly and incurs the ire of Catherine. Colton saves his dad but has committed an infraction meriting brutal punishment.
The punishment is severe and publicly humiliating. Colton has now assumed the role of a non-conformist troublemaker. He is now squarely in the sights of Catherine. Colton awakes to find the town has changed for the worse, and Catherine has consolidated her stranglehold on power. A plague has swept through the town; some are blaming Colton. His mother and sister are on the brink of death. The danger is mounting by the day, and a daring escape seems the only way out. Is resistance futile when it appears all forces are in alignment against you?
New America: Awakenings is a powerful new release that goes for the jugular and refuses to release its grip. The tension is palpable with every winding turn in this book. The sympathy with Colton and his family’s plight expands with each peril they face. The book bears a close resemblance to aspects of our current world, which will strike a resonant chord with the reader. Yet, the author illustrates the perils of a divided world and the futility of endless war. This book is a shot fired at the heart of the Orwellian surveillance state and has the makings of a dystopian classic.
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