Alpert’s latest novel is in the general vein of 1984 in that it is a warning and a projection of what might happen to any country whose people don’t closely watch their governments. The premise is the Machiavellian mantra of Power tends to corrupt but absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely . With these factors in mind the book opens a few years into the future at a time when the United States is suffering from major storms, incredible flooding and other tragedies stemming from the world not paying attention to Global Warming and it’s consequences.
Violence and protests have developed as the people suffer from a lack of food, water, electricity and other basic necessities. In order to control these outbreaks the United States government has organized a genetically enhanced police force and forced citizens that are considered less desirable into controlled enclaves. Dr. Jenna Kahn, her father and her handicapped brother live in one of these enclaves. The story begins with a raid by the government police looking to arrest Kahn and showing no mercy to other inhabitants in the area. Jenna escapes from the soldiers but loses contact with her father and brother.
Alpert expertly describes this new era and makes his personal views quite well known. It is no problem to determine those present day individuals that characters in the book represent. A plan by the government to test the DNA of all citizens and the possibility of using airborne brain altering aerosols is discussed with plans to spread it are described. The novel utilizes sufficient action to keep the reader interested and sympathizing with people caught up in this brave new world.
The Coming Storm is not the first novel of it’s kind and will certainly not be the last. Will it stir people up to examine what is going on with their governments? Interesting question, no?
1/19 Paul Lane
THE COMING STORM by Mark Alpert. St. Martin’s Press (January 8, 2019). ISBN 978-1250065421. 336p.