Liberators, by James Wesley, Rawles

I’ve read and enjoyed two of James Wesley, Rawles’ other books in this series. Thus I looked forward to the latest, Liberators (Amazon link) It’s the story of two groups of protagonists trying to survive through the occupation of the United States and Canada following “the Crunch,” when most of the worlds’ economies have collapsed, with ensuing civil disorder, scarcity of food and fuel, and governments in disarray. There are several books in the series, all taking place during the same years, but with different characters in different parts of the world. Liberators is certainly engaging.

All of the books in the series can be classified as “prepper” novels in that besides providing you with a possible futuristic history, they also offer advice (via the characters’ actions) on how to prepare for an emergency, and the breakdown of government — be it at the local or national level.

I’ve rated the book slightly lower than previous ones for a few reasons. First, there seems to be more exposition rather than plot actions in contrast to previous works in the series. Fiction is best when it is of the “show, don’t tell” modal.

Secondly, the occupation of Canada, first by European U.N. forces is believable enough. However, once they are “sent packing” as it were, the occupation by China is a bit more far-fetched. I can’t see a country with little oil production of its own being able to transport so many troops and ships/planes or helicopters/ground vehicles overseas.

In terms of the protagonists themselves, things seem to come too easily for them. Oh sure, one group has to give up their Jeep because…Well, it’s never really made clear why Kentucky police wouldn’t allow their vehicle in, but they themselves, with all of their supplies is perfectly fine. And in an incident in Canada, a couple of minor protagonists lose their lives. Otherwise, everything goes their way. All their plans work out, almost without a hitch. A good thriller requires constant and near insurmountable obstacles to overcome. It’s known as plot complications and there are too few of them in this story.

Liberators also seems to have an extra-heavy dose of Christianity infused in the characters. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it seems to contribute towards making them seem rather wooden. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember a single person of another religion (or lack of one) taking a major part in the story.

Please don’t think that I don’t like Liberators. I do like it. It’s a good book, just not a great book, as I rated some of the others in the series. You’ll enjoy reading Liberators because the premise is scary and possible.



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