It is refreshing to read a Dystopian tale in which the freedom fighters are as evil as the regime they are trying to overthrow, and Logsdon’s book certainly leaves no blurred lines about the decency of either its “antagonists” or its “protagonists”. This liberally action-packed thriller, set just a few years from now, portrays the origins and ideologies of both a draconian dictatorship and a shockingly violent and destructive terrorist group, whilst one decent federal agent tries to do his job between them. As far as bleak futures go, this one is particularly unpleasant, in which punishment and rehabilitation have been replaced by lobotomy and public display; under this new theocracy – the Church of New Morality - all things considered immoral have been deemed illegal, and are punishable by the surgery – this, of course, includes most of the things we presently take for granted. The author’s visions of religious reform are decidedly grand in scale, and I couldn’t help but think that, whilst not entirely beyond the realm of possibility, perhaps Logsdon’s time projection was a bit soon – but then again, in today’s political environment, who could rule out anything happening in the next decade or so, or even in the next week!?
This is a book which doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is evidenced by its comic-book style – complete with sound effects! – and a truckload of explosions. The action is almost non-stop - guns, grenades and choppers galore - and Logsdon indulges the brutal ultra-violence freely. In fact, it is all just a bit too much fun to be genuinely disturbed by the otherwise pretty upsetting themes of this book: punitive lobotomies, unflinchingly merciless terrorist attacks and the massacre of countless innocents. The Intelligence Factor is generally interesting, exciting and entertaining; it runs at a nice quick pace and sweeps you along on its rollercoaster – I found it incredibly easy to read. It looks nice and is, for the most part, written suitably for the audience I think will enjoy it the most. With its convoluted espionage plot, based in a lot of historical fact – and fiction - this book could be the real deal, in terms of terrorist actioners. Whilst acknowledging that it is probably more Die Hard than Ludlum, I felt that it was of an ambitious scale, and perhaps therefore it would have benefitted from a more mature and sophisticated approach. Religious history is embedded in the story, and the author clearly knows a lot about this; even the characters – good and bad – discourse philosophically and intelligently. Logsdon has written a good, engaging book, with a quality story, for sure, and some well-crafted, developed characters – I therefore think he can feel comfortable believing in its potential. I enjoyed it, and I’m sure many others will, too.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: mike-logsdon science-fiction action thriller futuristic dystopian