Monday, April 18, 2011
The THIRD: Book Review
The Third, by Abel Keogh is a dystopian thriller set in the not too terribly distant future - 2065. In so many ways, you can compare it to 1984 for 2011.
Environmentalism run amok has changed the very fabric of peoples lives, cars are a distant memory and inefficient green laws control all aspects of society. These are especially affecting our main characters Ransom and his wife Teya-Why? Because they are about to have an illegal third child.
Keogh has painted a gritty picture of the future, we are drawn immediately into the story with Ransom having to make a tough choice on the way to work one morning-causing ripples that will affect him and his family forever.
A good man has to do something in the face of evil-but Ransom doesn't see himself as hero, just a guy trying to do the right thing.
Teya has been keeping secrets further complicating things in a society used to monthly pregnancy tests, bread lines, rationing and waiting weeks for paperwork to be approved. As a reader some of her actions drove me crazy-BUT were I in Ransom's shoes, I would have had to react the same as he did-gotta support the wife.
I got a kick out of the naming of buildings after environmental extremists-Edward Abbey, Ted Kaczynski or even Population Bomb author (and wildly inaccurate doomsayer) Paul Ehrlich. Where's Gore plaza?
Abel has villains you sure love to hate, Census Bureau thugs and technocrats Dragomir & Mona. Even allies (Esperanza=Hope) keep you guessing. Mentions of rebel John Gaulters and Sons of Jefferson made me smile.
But neither Esperanza or Ransom are any kind of Black Prometheus, this sinister society is not brought down in one fell swoop. We are beside Ransom and Teya in a very poignant and worrisome way. Keogh's writing is intense and vivid. This is a close point of view in a harsh realm. The realistic problems by such a totalitarian government still exist and it is all the characters can hope for to just escape.
We are set for a sequel.
You can visit Abel here and grab a copy of The Third here. Highly recommended.