American WarI snagged this book on a whim to support an independent bookstore during a vacation and absolutely devoured it on the flight home. I’d been a bit burned out on post-apocalyptic fiction lately, but this book was not your typical environmental or man-made apocalypse. Instead, it was an apocalypse created by people being dumb; or perhaps more charitably, by people being human. 

Sarat isn’t necessarily a sympathetic character, but that made her all the more intriguing for me. El Akkad’s representation of Southern politics is a direct commentary on current Republican “values,” but Sarat unflinchingly fights for them. This is where it should be noted that Sarat is a queer woman of color, which means there’s a lot to unpack.

The narrative flowed smoothly, giving enough details about the world to give the reader just enough information while leaving them wanting more. I might have preferred to read the events of this story from Sarat’s direct perspective instead of from the distance of another character, but that did not prevent it from being engrossing.

Though it’s not a genre novel, I highly recommend it to all readers as a fantastic warning against what happens to those who cling too tightly to the past and those who careen to quickly into the future.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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