“A post-apocalyptic novel with no apocalypse, Anderson O'Donnell's Kingdom is set in the near future of a world not so different from ours, where America’s Cold War has spawned an evil that’s just now coming of age. The world definitely ends with a whimper rather than a bang in this tale where drink, drugs and prostitution ruin lives in a land ruined by man.
Dark evocative descriptions are filled with premonition. “[T]he moon hugged the horizon, too tired to finish its ascent…” And the whimper of the world’s long ending resounds over the city. “[H]uman flesh and blood were the gasoline” of the social machine and “Benzedrine-fueled Bedouins” roam border deserts where secret laboratories hide the madness of science.
A powerfully plausible future history postulates “the new iron curtain of Sharia law” and the decadence of Tiber City, while memory and self fall victim to a blurred and unreal reality. This place and this people are “the kingdom,” while the man who would stand behind the throne manipulates his subjects, science and hope.
The world is haunting, horrible and hurt. The writing is evocative and blunt with all the melodramatic confusion of drug-addiction blending into genuine curiosity with just a few tinges of hope as that moon skips the horizon. I want to watch the movie. I want to know if I can read the sequel. And the story, like 1984, leaves me wondering… Future, future history, possible future? This soulless world of fiction leaves me looking at the newspaper and hoping the real world still has a soul to save.
My Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publicist and promised an honest review.