Book Description from Barnes & Noble:
“It hadn’t seemed possible that a president whose policies had impoverished millions could be reelected. It was the waning years of the American empire and the liberties represented in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were a fading memory. The government monitored every aspect of American life, and the drones buzzing overhead served as a constant reminder, but it was the governments reckless spending that brought the nation to its knees.
Now, the economy is in ruin, and the president’s European style welfare state stands at the brink of collapse. The United States is unable to repay its debts. China has come seeking payment in real assets, and they mean business. Chaos reigns; power has been cut; select cities have been decimated by nuclear bombs; and burned out houses occupy neighborhoods like rotting teeth in the mouth of a crack addict. What was new is now old and what was old is now new again.
Cliffson Lang’s son attempts to escape the fires and mobs overrunning the city of Seattle. When Cliffson is called away to help, his other son is kidnapped by occupying forces and placed in a work camp. Truth’s Blood is the Lang family’s story of survival at a time when government dependency must be replaced by self-reliance. As the United States experiences the disintegration of society and foreign occupation, their challenge verges on the impossible.”
A FEW COMMENTS
First, I would like to say that this is a four star story with some three star editing issues, in my opinion. So I ask that you read the entire review before making a decision as to whether or not you think you would enjoy it. The fact that the review is so long should tell you I enjoyed the story enough to take the time and write a detailed account of my reactions to it. Thank you ahead of time for your patience.
Second, this will be a long review. I will clearly section it off so if you don’t want to read a particular portion, you can skip it. For example, toward the end, I will discuss the politics of the book. It you are not interested, you can just move right along.
And finally, at this point I would like to include some details about how I review Independent Authors because that does play a part in this review. I am more lenient with Independent Authors. The main reason is that they don’t have access to big time publishers and many don’t have the money to hire top of the line editors. In fact, some do without. Books that are published with big time publishers go through many rounds of reading- beta reading, proofreading, copy editor, final editor and some other stuff with which I am not yet familiar. The same is not true of independent novels. Therefore, when deciding on a rating, I am more inclined to ignore things that I would not ignore in non-independent books.
In the very near future, the U.S. government has slowly chipped away at individual freedoms and built up so called entitlement programs to the point that most Americans are completely dependent on the federal government, which results in an enormous debt to China. Unfortunately, China calls in that debt and the United States is unable to pay it. With no other options, the President hands over the United States to China who intends to bleed the country dry of all resources. First order of business- thin the herd.
The story is told primarily from the point of view of a small group of country folk. Even in the country, most people are still dependent upon the government but a few see what is coming and do everything they can to be as self-sufficient as possible, Unfortunately, they face growing problems when one son is taken to a labor camp, thieves and murderers make frequent attacks on homes and the city inhabitants begin moving outside the cities and will soon arrive, looking for food and somewhere safe to live.
This is what I refer to as political, speculative fiction. The scenes are frightening and captivating. At points, I couldn’t drag myself away, and paid for it the next morning.
I don’t know who the target audience is or what the author’s intent is. That makes a difference, especially with this type of book. So please, PLEASE, don’t let my next statement scare you off, but I am just going to throw it out there- If you are a fan of Glenn Beck, you will love this story; If you are a fan of Rachel Maddow, not so much. Either way, it can be an entertaining read as liberals could read it with moral indignation; sometimes that’s a bunch of fun too. I wish Roberts had included more of the opposite point of view and showed events unfolding from a Rachel Maddow point of view. The character Thomas gives the reader a little of that, but I would have enjoyed a much more in depth storyline from that perspective.
There were a few places where I chuckled. I don’t know if they were intentional. For example-
Jean was simply irreplaceable, like a piece of old farm equipment, “they just didn’t make em’ like that anymore.”
My immediate reaction was, “Did he just compare his wife to farm equipment?” The other thing I found amusing is that Thomas and Mary Jefferson, who are liberals, have a son named Davis. Davis angers Thomas with his more conservative comments, but he attends University of Texas, which is a liberal school in arguably the most liberal city in Texas. Jefferson comments, “Is this the kind of thing you’re learning at college?” He’s going to UT so the answer is- not likely.
WHAT WORKED FOR ME
I really like the title. At first, I was unsure. I thought maybe it came from a famous quote, but I couldn’t find one that was close enough to support that theory. If not, I’m impressed-
Man’s past is filled with truth’s shed blood.
That’s a good quote.
I appreciate that the book is intelligent. I know liberals will argue otherwise, but there are intelligent points. And regardless of whether or not you think it works, there are intellectual discussions and what amount to short speeches.
I’m a big fan of creepy and Truth’s Blood has no shortage of creepy. And no one is safe. So if you have a favorite character, I wouldn’t get too attached. I like authors who make none of their characters safe.
WHAT DID NOT WORK FOR ME
Typos, misspelled words, grammatical errors and errors in syntax only affect my rating when there are enough to disrupt my reading. While these errors were not all over the place, there were many times they did interrupt my flow. Each reviewer has his or her own thing and this is one of mine. I have seen many people comment it doesn’t bother them. And in all honesty, it was not enough that I wouldn’t read any more books by this author. There were times I stayed up late because I didn’t want to put the book down. So keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to read Truth’s Blood.
The Chinese are the new Russians, so I completely understand why they are the bad guys. That’s not the issue. The issue is accent. It just came across to me as the Christmas dinner scene from A Christmas Story. For example-
“I will not mince words with you American dogs,” Ju-long spat. “America owe China moe than four trillion dolla and you are going to pay.”
I personally didn’t think it was necessary. In fairness, you will get a lot of southern accent and slang as well.
Repetition & Speeches
Some of the political talking points get a bit repetitive. And the speeches disguised as dialogue break the flow of the storyline. The initial classroom scene was done very well. It’s the sitting in the living room or porch and two people who believe the same thing are going back and forth agreeing with each other. To me that is a clear “I’m making a point to the reader” moment. That happens a few times in the book.
I’m just not a fan.
WHAT I HAVE NOT DECIDED
I think quotes at the beginning of each chapter can be extremely effective. However, I was not always clear as to how the quote was relevant to what happens in the chapter. Maybe that is my failing, but I don’t think I should have to try so hard if the book is meant for entertainment. That’s where knowing the author’s intent would be helpful.
I kid you not, Truth’s Blood hits a lot of talking points- business ownership, liberal elitism, government regulation, national debt, gun control, drone attacks, due process, entitlement programs, political correctness and more. I just want to make one observation.
Keynesian Economics is brought up several times. At the beginning, there is a scene in a classroom where a teacher and student are debating Keyne’s economic theory. Unfortunately, the reader either has to take the characters’ comments on faith or must stop to look up the very advanced and intricate theory for him or herself.
I do recommend Truth’s Blood. If your political views are in opposition, skim those parts. In my opinion, there is enough in the book to make for an entertaining read if you are indeed interested in this genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Reviewed by Christina
Also available at Amazon
If you enjoyed Truth’s Blood by Tyler Roberts, you may also enjoy:
Agenda 21 by Glen Beck
2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks