‘Collapse’ by Richard Stephenson is book one in the ‘New America’ series and I believe Stephenson’s first novel. The novel is set in the year 2027, with the USA falling apart. It is in the grip of the 2nd Great Depression and is at war with the Great Empire of Iran. The state of Florida has been devastated by a hurricane that has left over 1 million people dead and Texas is about to face the same fate. The government is about to fall. The people are descending into anarchy. What will become of the USA?
Though a first novel, the suspense and action of the novel is first rate. It is very easy to read and carries you along quite easily. However, there are serious issues with the grammar and spelling, as well as some fairly obvious errors in the actual text of the story. A good proof reader should have picked up on these mistakes and that would have resulted in a far more polished and professional product.
There is also a short sex scene tacked onto the end of the story which I thought was somewhat tacky and unnecessary. It did nothing for the story as a whole and was completely out of place in the overall development of the novel.
If you can see past these obvious flaws without too much prejudice, the novel is a very good read and I do look forward to picking up the story when the next book in the series is released in 2013.
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