by Richard C. Deason

"A dream firmly rooted is a strong seedling indeed."

This lengthy thriller combines visionary and dystopian science fiction set in the near future and told in an articulate, philosophically driven narrative. After the United States has splintered into politically distinct commonwealths and republics, a radically new nation arises in the western Pacific with the prime agenda of personal freedom based on the American republic's former constitutional ideals. It is headed by corporate CEO and chief political executive David Ryan, who is publicly deemed a terrorist threat by the powerful Commonwealth of East America.

As the story opens, Ryan's parents, Tom and Ann, are removed from their home in the Texas Republic and placed in protective custody as part of a ploy to arrest David, whom his family has not seen in twenty years. As the world the Ryans have built over a lifetime implodes, they soon discover that East America's propaganda about their son and his visionary society is far different than the truth. Ownership of some technological and medical wonders available in Pacifica seems to be the highly coveted prize in the effort to control the mysterious island nation.

The initial burst of energy in the novel's opening chapters dwindles as the philosophical underpinnings of the story surface in the form of long character dialogues and a transitional narrative. While the premise of the story remains exciting from beginning to end, the slower pace makes the reading a more cerebral and less visceral experience as readers discover the origins and history of Pacifica, as shown through the eyes of David Ryan and his friends, associates, and visiting family members. The pacing picks up intermittently when East America's paradoxical attempts at high-tech warfare and the consequential diplomatic snafus temporarily shatter the paradisical peace of Pacifica. Fans of slower-paced, thought-provoking novels rich with historical worldbuilding may find this book checks all the right boxes.

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