Survival Year

Written by Jennifer Shearer French and reviewed by Jessica Libby

Could you imagine a world where every citizen had a vote? Every citizen could weigh in on politics and the actions of his or her host government? All from something resembling a cell phone or other mobile device. Ingenious.

In the not-so-distant future, Jennifer French’s Survival Year offers 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 experiencing. The further I read Survival Year, the more I was convinced that what the characters had planned could potentially work. However, I recognized the negative possibilities, as well.

If there was ever a more in-the-now fictional story regarding the geopolitical landscape, it is Survival Year. This is one hell of a political thriller.

French outlines what could potentially be an answer to the global political decline – financial,commodities, communications. Complete governmental transparency. French knows her way around the world she lays out in her book; she’s got a background in cyber ethics, and degrees. Plus, there’s love, intrigue and quite a few assassination attempts.

As far as writing style goes, French warmed up and the flow got better as the book went along. 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. And Katarina, herself, develops as the story progresses. Confident woman willing to give it all up in hopes of changing the political climate for the greater good becomes the even more confident woman who finds the love of her life and…oops, almost spoiled the ending.

For those paying attention to the various political events happening around the 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 has the qualities you’d find in a much longer book. Highly recommended.

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