Last year I reviewed the preceding volume in the series, “A Rambling Wreck,” and found it a good read. This year the author graciously provided me with an advanced copy so I have been able to enjoy the present work before the general public. Ah, behold the awesome power of the Press!
I will summarize the type of story it is and then give my opinion on the quality of the story. The narrative has science fiction elements that include alternate time lines, secret societies, possibly alien creatures and advanced technologies. It also has elements that would be found in a techno-thriller including conspiracy theories, secret government cabals and corrupt bureaucracies. But much of the story could just as easily be found in the pages of daily news sites. There are progressive organizations infiltrating government, university and industry hierarchies with the intent of implementing speech and thought codes and suppressing non-progressive ideas.
The story revolves around the ongoing attempt by the protagonists to infiltrate the Civic Circle, attack it and expose it for the evil cabal that it is. The Civic Circle is the hidden hand behind all the progressive and globalist initiatives going on around the world. They control enormous wealth and have members at the highest levels of government in the United States and elsewhere. They have control of the FBI, powerful judges, captains of industry and press, education and entertainment leaders. They also restrict research into areas that might threaten their stranglehold on advanced technology that is the basis for the “Hidden Truth” aspect of the series. This hidden truth is the misunderstood nature of electromagnetic phenomena and how it interacts with quantum effects and the basis of reality and time-space. This is how the alternate time-line aspect of the story relates to the techno-thriller elements. The technology allows the Civic Circle to know where a crucial event will occur and use force to steer the future the way they desire. That is why in this timeline there was a President Gore and the 9-11 attack destroyed the Capitol Building. And President Gore is assassinated and leads to a President Lieberman. Mixed in with all this is a subplot that is either some kind of occult activity or advanced technology masquerading as the occult. The good guys include a college engineering student (the hero), a pick-up artist, Vatican ninjas, a Chinese tong group and a Georgia paramilitary group. Without a doubt the sensibilities and allegiance of the good guys is right-wing. The Left is always characterized as the corrupt and generally evil side of the population. In general, the multi-culti progressive values and ideas are pounded on pretty relentlessly in the book. But since the plot identifies the progressive agenda as the method being used by the Civic Circle to gain complete control over all aspects of western society this characterization aligns with the plot of the story.
So how well did the story do its job? The plot is very intricate and the action moves back and forth as various characters and events influence it. The main characters have matured since the last book and are involved in all the responsibilities and danger facing their clandestine group. And in this book the outcome is much more substantial and critical to moving along the overall narrative. In other words, big stuff is going on. Being an installment in a series the pay-off is only partial and only some information is added to solving the mysteries of the “hidden truth.” But there is a satisfying ending to the episode.
Who will like this book and who won’t? First off, if you are big proponent of multi-culturalism or intersectionality you will consider this book an insult to your world view. In general, if you dislike the right wing you might not be sympathetic to the main character’s point of view and this could ruin the story for you. Those folks aside, this story will appeal to folks who like hard science fiction, techno-thrillers and anyone who really, really dislikes the Left.
I would say it would appeal to people who liked Heinlein’s story Revolt in 2100. In both stories you have a young protagonist who is mentored by an older character while fighting for the overthrow of a corrupt and totalitarian regime.
And finally I liked the story myself. This volume has definitely increased the interest by making the action much more significant and making the protagonist a more important actor in the drama. At several points there is excellent suspense when the character is being interrogated by the spymasters of the Civic Circle. Hans Schantz has crafted his story with loving details. Everything from the IT needed to infiltrate the Civic Circle’s information network to the architectural details of the lair of the evil Civic Circle. And for real science fans he goes on to tell us outside of the narrative that some of the Hidden Truth is actually scientific fact that he himself is documenting in peer reviewed papers.
I heartily recommend The Brave and the Bold.