Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review:: Resurrection Day, by Brendan DuBois

Title: Resurrection Day
Author: Brendan DuBois
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

A "what-if" alternate history, where the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into an all-out nuclear war, Resurrection Day appears to be heavily researched... but somehow misses that an all-out nuclear war would create more than a local catastrophe. Unfortunately, that's not the only issue.

I feel like a lot could have been done with this premise. And I feel like Brendan DuBois really tried his damnedest to make it happen. Unfortunately, there was a significant amount of naivety that made it difficult for me to keep my suspension of disbelief.

Post the Cuban War, the United States has mostly fallen apart and is under military rule. The newspapers have a censor who can strike any stories and edit however they please. People aren't allowed to freely come and go, or even live in cities, because they need farmers. Plenty of people are going hungry.

Wait. Farmers? Didn't the US just get hit with multiple nuclear strikes 10 years ago? ...so, how are they farming? Well, good thing the British are doing a good job with relief, kind of a return for the US's help during the Blitz. But wait. The USSR was bombed to the point of slag and the US was hit repeatedly... but Britain is 100% okay?

However, what broke my suspension of disbelief most often, was the way the plucky reporter protagonist continually dug himself out of every hole. There's a point where you have to go, "Wait now. How's he survived up until this point?" Basically, it relies on the military really sucking as their job, even though we've continually been informed how good they are at it.

Oh, and the issue of race relations was solved. Basically, the army went in and ended segregation and Jim Crow because we needed the nation united. Because that would fix race relations. And it's so realistic. It's not like the United States has ever realized it's easier to profit off of an underclass than trying to unite everyone...

At times, the dialogue feels forced and uncomfortable. The romance makes no fucking sense. It would have made more sense if it had turned out to be spy shenanigans, but no, no, she actually fell in love with him.

The ending, also, made me roll my eyes even more. Not the substance of the end... I saw that coming from a hundred miles away. But more once again, the plucky reporter manages to survive against all odds.

Honestly, I would have been happier if we hadn't been given a Happily Ever After ending.

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