Can you imagine a world where every citizen could directly weigh in on politics and the actions of his or her host government from their cell phone?
In this not-so-distant sci-fi future, Jennifer French’s Survival Year offers this scenario as a true possibility. There’s international betrayal, a love triangle and a common desire to bring the world together in the face of global political upheaval, not unlike the current events we’re now experiencing. The more I read of Survival Year the more I was convinced that what the characters had planned could potentially work. However, It was impossible not to recognise the negative possibilities, as well.
If there was ever a more in-the-now fictional story regarding the geopolitical landscape I have yet to read it. This is one hell of a political thriller.
French outlines what could potentially be an answer to the global political decline – financial, commodities, communications – 100% government transparency. French is well aware of the potential world she lays out in her book; she’s got a background in cyber ethics. But there’s not just political intrigue within these pages, there’s also love, action, and even a few assassination attempts to keep the plot moving and interesting, after all the political aspects can get a little dry.
As far as her writing style goes French warmed up and the plot moved along more naturally as the book entered its second half. Katarina, part of the Survival Year committee, is the main character. She’s got some co-stars and they have some focus where it matters but Katarina is very much the heart of the tale. She is a confident woman who is more than willing to give it all up in hopes of changing the political climate for the greater good. Despite a few flaws she is a compelling character and is more than able to hold her own as the focus of the story.
For those paying attention to the various political events happening around the real world, this book will give pause. I had a rather strong reaction to it, and there are few books about which I can make that statement. Survival Year is a relatively short read, but it has the qualities you’d find in a much longer book.