Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Review: 'Voice of Freedom' by H. L. Wegley

Seattle author H. L. Wegley earned a MS in Computer Science and worked more than two decades as a Systems Programmer at Boeing, served in the US Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer, served as a Meteorologist working as a forecaster and a Research Scientist in Atmospheric Physics. He has been published extensively in the scientific literature. Now he has retired and writes inspirational thrillers and high-action, romantic suspense novels.

There are several avenues authors take in writing about the disintegration of the political systems, especially the government as it functions in the US. Each has an audience but few other authors are as successful as Wegley in finding that fine line of terror and intrigue and eventual hopelessness and lead the story into an inspirational realm. That is talent and Wegley has it in VOICE OF FREEDOM which is Book 2 of this series AGAINST ALL ENEMIES. Evidence of the empathy he has for his readers comes in his author’s note – ‘The political setting of Voice of Freedom is not as pleasant as the physical setting. The story deals with the rending of America by a would-be tyrant. In 2012, Charles Murray wrote, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960– 2010. He focused on white Americans only to emphasize that they were not excluded from the coming apart of this nation. He thought all groups, minorities, as well as the majority, were impacted. In Murray’s estimation, the rending of America is happening at the level of our core of common beliefs— religion, marriage and family, labor, ethics, and morality. His prescription for a solution is a “Civic Great Awakening,” a returning to our foundations on family, vocation, community and faith— something like the Great Awakening of the 19th Century. In part, I agree with Murray. But with two predominant, diametrically opposed worldviews present in our culture and in our politics, I am pessimistic about the nation I love coming back together. Nevertheless, I can write a story illustrating the restorative power of a taste of tyranny, a story that shows what political steps might be required to restore a fractured, failed state to a Democratic Republic. We should heed our founders’ warning that our Constitution only works for a good and moral people. So when one faction’s morality becomes another's immorality, as we find in America today, the nation is fractured almost beyond repair. The USA as we have known it cannot exist under those conditions. If Americans cannot come together on core values, we will come apart on those same lines. There are several other philosophical and theological asides to the story that readers may find interesting. One of these is Julia Weiss's pacifism, her reaction to a horrific childhood exposure to warfare, specifically to a jihadist group like Boko Haram. She learns that pacifism is unlivable in a fallen world and that self-defense, as well as defense of the helpless, using lethal force, is sometimes required.’

Given those thoughts the book becomes more relevant – ‘All eyes are on America as the nation writhes under a tyrant’s grip. Six Americans who spawned a resistance movement against tyrant, Abe Hannan, are hiding on the Israeli coast. Steve Bancroft, an Army Ranger protecting the other five Americans, is drawn to Julia Weiss, who reminds him of the twin sister who died under his protection. Julia, a petite woman with strengths that belie her stature, has horrific images of war etched on her mind, making Steve the kind of person her pacifist thinking rejects. President Abe Hannan, in a stalemate with the insurgents, gambles to crush the heart of the resistance, Brock Daniels, KC Banning, and their four friends, in a winner-takes-all battle determining the future of America. If Steve and Julia survive, can they overcome the demons from their past and find hope for their future? VOICE OF FREEDOM is an action-packed political thriller set in the immediate future, a story spanning the globe from Israel to Canada and from Washington DC to Oregon, a story for the time in which we live, a story of faith, hope, courage, and love.’

Wegley promises a third book in this series, and for those of us who have read these first two, the third may provide some closure – or not. Watch and see – Wegley’s take on the ’now’ is worth absorbing. Grady Harp, February 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. 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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