Exiles’ Escape: Book Two of Old Men and Infidels
by W. Clark Boutwell
Indigo River Publishing

"Just as I realized I was here—here, in this place outside the addresses and code words of the regular CORE, Principal grabbed me."

In Boutwell's dystopian narrative, audiences enter a 2051 America that has splintered. United on no fronts, one faction is the Democratic Unity, which, on the surface, addresses all the needs that plague society, from free healthcare to a curbed dependency on computers. Digging deeper, however, Boutwell creates an intricate backstory for a world that revolves around the feigned suicide of Malila Chiu, Eustace Jourdaine's subsequent and relentless pursuit of her following his coup de etat, and the awakening of a multitude of dynamic, deep characters. One of these is Jesse Johnstone, who studies medicine at the prestigious Washington University. Enduring his own set of gut-wrenching losses and tragedies, Jesse finds himself at a crossroads until he encounters Chiu.

While the characters are undoubtedly intriguing, the worldbuilding sets Boutwell's work apart. With avant-garde technologies such as Certified Recycled Neuroablated (CRNA) and the CORE, children at seven are implanted, and many experience sapp, a mind control treatment that can have hazardous consequences. As the Restructured States of America and the Democratic Unity of America are engaged in a tense struggle, a series of plotlines are active, whether that is the symbolic significance of William Yeats Butler's meeting with Jesse Johnstone, his father's friend, or Chiu's quest to reach the outlands. While there are countless characters and accompanying storylines, Boutwell has a knack for having all the plot threads merge seamlessly into a wild, thrilling, and thought-provoking endeavor.

The book is intriguing in its unique form of blending fiction and non-fiction. However, terms such as libtards, comufascists, and the description of Americans as demons may be offensive to some. The book offers interesting thoughts on The New World Order and The Great Reset, and the fiction section is an enjoyable read with a fast-paced plot. For those concerned about America's future, this one will chill to the bone.

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