SFF

Empire City

Atria. Apr. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781501177798. $27. SF
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Children across the nation know the Volunteers, superhuman soldiers who helped America win wars around the world. It has been 30 years since the Vietnam War was won, but the political front at home is heating up. An ex-military group is clashing with the police presence, and terrorists threats in the veteran rehabilitation colonies means the government may be exposed. Within the city-state of Empire City, the Volunteers are waiting to do what they are best at—fighting—but are being sidelined for publicity. The truth behind the Volunteers’ powers lies in the hands of a couple of civilians, friends who may end up on different sides as a retired general comes to the forefront of the presidential election, one that could bring military rule across the country.
VERDICT Super-powered soldiers, civilians, and government secrets tangle together in this alt-reality military science fiction tale. Gallagher’s (Kaboom) sharp prose, fine details, and emotional characters highlight the divisions between the nation’s leaders and residents.

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