Friday, February 23, 2018

Book Review: 'Voice in the Wilderness' 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, at least in VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS. He starts tough in his Prologue: `Hannan's Rules for Radical Reform - Abandon all morals and ethics. They are impediments to establishing the world as it should be. Absolutely nothing is sacred, so never behave as if anything is. Make pragmatic concerns my only concerns. The end I envision justifies any means. Reject all knowledge and wisdom from the past, because people cannot distinguish myth from history. Build political apathy, by fostering consumerism, using entertainment, technology, pornography, addictions-- anything that will reduce political interest and participation. Destroy all sense of community, isolating individuals by motivating them to focus on private concerns, with the exception of communities of special-interest voting blocs that support me. Remove religion from public discourse, confining it to private worship. Attack and ridicule opponents, criticizing them harshly and personally. Agitate the population, making chaos and crisis the norm so extreme measures also seem normal. Never let the media, or my enemies, focus on one "scandal" too long. Give them something even more egregious to discuss, an endless cascade of "scandals" so they can never catch up.'

And then he unwinds his story as follows: What if your blog could save the nation, but posting to it might cost your life? Two extraordinary people born for a time such as this. As catastrophes drive the US into martial law, all eyes are on America, waiting to see what emerges. KC Banning, network specialist, discovers President Hannan's tyrannical plans and is branded a terrorist, sending her fleeing the Beltway to find her childhood soulmate and protector, Brock Daniels. Brock, a writer and man of faith, gives CPR to a dying nation through his blog, which is read by military members still loyal to the Constitution. But starting a grassroots insurgency while reconciling KC's and Brock's broken relationship proves difficult. When Hannan sends Special Forces to kill Brock and KC, starting a war in the Central Oregon desert, reconciliation, like staying alive, might be impossible. Set in Washington DC and near Crooked River Ranch in the Central Oregon desert, this is a political thriller, with romance, about two people who must decide if they're willing to sacrifice their lives to prevent the USA from becoming the Dystopian States of America.'

Tension, very realistic factual descriptions of all aspects of this story make this a film waiting to be produced. A very fine, entertaining read. Grady Harp, September 15

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.