It is known as National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51. Signed in 2007, it claims specific Federal powers in the event of a “catastrophic emergency”…
Heather O’Grainne is the assistant secretary in the Office of Future Threat Assessment, investigating rumors surrounding something called “Daybreak.” Part philosophic discussion, part international terrorist faction, and part artists’ movement, it’s a group of diverse people with radical ideas who have only one thing in common — their hatred for the Big System and their desire to take it down. Until Heather can determine whether these people are all talk and no action, she wants to keep this information from going public.
But Daybreak is about to become a lot less secret. Seemingly random events in a recycling facility in Wyoming, on an island off the coast of California, and in Jayapura, Indonesia — where the plane carrying the Vice President has suddenly vanished — are in fact connected as part of a plan to destroy modern civilization.
America is at the dawn of a new primitive age — an age that will eliminate the country’s top government personnel, leaving the nation no choice but to implement its emergency contingency program: Directive 51.
©2010 John Barnes (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
An increasingly common apocalyptic scenario which is poorly played out in the sappy relationships and even worse philosophical meanderings of the cut-out characters. Stilted, unrealistic dialogue, irrelevant plot lines and incredibly unexplained events abound. Spoiler alert: How do robots on the moon ever build fusion bombs to send to earth with technology just a few years in our future, and nobody in the top echelons of government knew about it? I also found myself irritated with the narrator who either over enunciated or tried to mimic voices she heard on cheap sit-coms.
I have greatly enjoyed past books by John Barnes, notably, "The Mother Of Storms" and "Finity" (both not on audio, sadly). This book was a complete mess and a true struggle to get all of the way through. It follows the standard End of the World/Civilisation is Shattered storyline but slaps you with a wildly implausible cause. The characters are two dimensional, cliche'd and at no point did I begin to identify or care about them. The story spirals into an overly political mish-mash which comes off as a whiney high school slap-fight. The author tries to take a middle of the road approach politically, but caracaturizes both liberal and conservative sides into fringe stereotypes of the worst kind. The narrator amplifies the stilted prose into grueling aural assault. I was excited at first to be able to listen to a book by an author I had liked so much in the past...now I am just sad.
this novel has an outlandish plot, 'developed' in a series of vignettes scattered across the globe, each containing multiple 'characters' (largely clichéd). This would be confusing in any audio production; this one, however, suffers additionally from the limited range of the narrator's voice. The reader's voice seemed an odd choice from the opening pages, having an annoying timbre best reserved for women's prison warden, though it softened up a bit after a while and wasn't too bad, though far too fast. What complicates matters, though, is the narrator's limited vocal range, making all the disparate characters sound very much alike, especially as she tends to begin a new bit of dialogue in an imitation of another voice, but rapidly slinks back to her own. Not a very good book to start with, combined with a discordant reading, it's no wonder so many hours cost so little.
There wasn't much in the way of charactor development, and the story just dragged on and on.
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