Monday, August 28, 2017

Book Review: 'Breaking Point' by C. J. Box

"Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us." -- Psalm 2:3 (NKJV)

When most people think of the EPA, they imagine the environment being improved, the air becoming cleaner, rare species having a better chance of surviving, and the beauties of nature being more available to future generations. To some people, the EPA presents a different face: a source of regulation that limits outdoor activities that provide their livelihood.

In Breaking Point, C.J. Box adds to these two perspectives by illustrating the dangers of the Federal government's power being abused in arbitrary ways, crushing the spirits and hopes of those who are affected. I'm sure you'll sympathize with the plight of the Roberson family in Breaking Point.

That said, the book's main virtue is an astonishingly vivid story of a manhunt in the wilderness. These sequences contain some of the best writing of this sort that it has ever been my pleasure to read. I could feel myself in the scenes almost as completely as if I were truly there.

Unfortunately, the book has a major weakness that undermined my sense of reality in the story: the actions taken by government officials just didn't seem credible to me. Consequently, I felt as if I were having a bad dream during much of the book rather than reading something that could actually happen. Mr. Box needed to tone down his villainy to make it more like the actions of a bureaucracy than unleashing of an unlimited war.

I do recommend the book. It fits in well with some of the earliest stories in the series. If you haven't read any other books in the series, I suggest you start with Open Season and work through the series in order of publication.

Enjoy the amazing scenes in this book!

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Donald Mitchell. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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