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For his seventh book, the writer, historian, and environmentalist Thomas A. Lewis analyzes the current, and upcoming, economic and environmental collapse in an equally engaging and troubling new novel called Tribulation. The implied meaning of the title is that mankind has faced its trials and been found guilty. Now comes the sentence.

The story is set in the near future, beginning in 2021. The retired William Trent – it would be wrong to spoil the surprise of what his former job was – is, at first, reluctant to believe his son, Brian, when the latter tells him that the entire family must escape to a survivalist compound in the Allegheny Mountains. Brian, however, convinces both his father and his own wife and family that, through his work and analysis as a journalist for the Washington Post, that society as we know it is doomed. So, off they go to a farm compound, along with two other families. However, they are not the only ones to have reached this conclusion to flee and, when others wish to seize Brian’s carefully stocked farm, well, complications arise.

What is best about this novel is how Smith utilizes his own intense study and knowledge of the subjects at hand to inform, as well as entertain, the reader. An early passage where he analyzes precisely how a hurricane works – hint: you do not wish to be on the right edge of the storm – is as clear an explanation of these catastrophic storms as one can find anywhere. How precisely climate change will devastate the economy is also presented in a logical manner that truly should not provoke any disagreement; except, of course, it will, which is precisely why we are in the mess we are in.

One suspects that there will be a small mountain of Apocalyptic novels coming out over the next several years. They will have quite a job surpassing Tribulation for both its science and its perspective.

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Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 236 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 31-Mar-2014
ISBN 978494768454 Buy this Book
Issue April 2014
Category Popular Fiction


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