Sunday, 10 February 2013

Third Revolution: a book review by SerpentSlayer

Gregory Kay, Southern Nationalist, Author and Southern Gentleman.

I do not usually review books, films or indeed any other media on my blog but for a change I have decided to review a rather interesting book written by West Virginian and Southern Nationalist Gregory Kay. I have reprinted the blurb  below to give you an idea of the books contents:

"It's the 21st Century, and the South is rising again! When a peaceful demonstration over a Confederate flag goes horribly wrong, two strangers - police officer Frank Gore and reporter Samantha Norris - find themselves running for their lives. Labelled as terrorists and pursued by covert government death squads through a South torn by depression, racial tension and martial law, their only chance for survival lies with a bitterly divided band of rebel guerrillas. Torn by duty, allegiance and their own growing closeness, in a world where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted, they are forced to answer the ultimate question: When passions simmering for a century and a half explode... When telling the truth becomes a terrorist act... When paranoid fantasy becomes reality... How far would you go to survive THE THIRD REVOLUTION?"

The book it must be said is a very quick-read despite being over 400 pages long, it is divided into very short chapters that are eminently readable and I found myself reading 4-5 chapters at a time.
The book's begins with the dramatic scene described in the blurb, the Confederate rally protesting the taking down of a Confederate flag, to outsiders like myself, a seemingly mundane event where a small protest might be expected, but to a Southerner of the United States, an insult to an entire nation (similar to the recent decision to not fly the Union flag over Belfast Town Hall by unrepentant IRA gunmen and spineless Unionist politicians) that with this in mind sparks a riot that makes for an enticing and memorable first scene that touches on ethnic tension, adds a touch of potent symbolism, touches on the dichotomy of modern law enforcement and that introduces some truly memorable characters, such as Brian the Black Confederate and the little and large duo of bikers Tommy and Billy (who I pictured in my mind's eye as not dissimilar from Bulk and Skull, the characters from television's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers).

The scene sees Frank Gore, our protagonist and every bit the southern Gentleman, witness the betrayal of his colleagues by another officer who, after allowing a black anti-southern protest group to attack an elderly southern gentleman proceeds to open fire on the crowd, Frank is forced to shoot the rogue officer to stop him and after his recollection of events to his superiors the next day is put to early retirement. The true story nonetheless leaks out and spurs more riots and forces Frank and the Journalist responsible for leaking the truth, Samantha Norris on the run and joining up with characters recognisable to any southern nationalist and indeed to any member of any Nationalist movement known to myself (I recognised a few archetypes from British nationalism even) The rest of the novel plays out in a very convincing manner, unlike other descriptions of guerilla movements against the US government I have read (Not naming *cough* Turner *cough* any *cough* Diaries *cough* names) and manages, only just, to balance a fairly hefty cast of characters.

Throughout the book we are forced to bear witness to a highly sobering vision of a struggle between patriotic citizens and a ruthless police state backed up by very obviously unreliable and biased media. We see murder, torture, lies, intrigue and more besides, always with the most graphic of portrayals that at times are enough to provoke physical emotion from the reader. Nonetheless we witness effective retaliation from our protagonists in the form of hit and run attacks, ambushes and covert explosive attacks that reassure us of the ability of an armed and organised populace to resist tyranny.

Sometimes the characters blur into one as we try and remember the names of the less notable members of the Confederate Army Provisional and on more than one occasion I was confused by the similarity of the names of Sam Wirtz, the leader of Columbia's CAP and of Samantha Norris, both abbreviated to Sam and Sammie, respectively. There are other minute technical points that I can pick up on but barring the odd typo, this novel has very few faults, the description of how to build some big bomb being the only place where my mind tailed off a little (but no doubt very instructional to those seeking education in such matters) and all in all I can highly recommend the book.

Throughout, the book is very fast-paced, though does lose some of it's pace about a third of the way though when we follow the aftermath of Samantha's return, but quickly picks up again right at the end, before leaving the reader high and dry and desperate for the next instalment, which I felt a little short changed for, the abrupt end being very much unexpected during the frantic reading that characterised my last sitting of Third Rev. Nonetheless I will be buying a copy of it's sequel Third Revolution II: The Long Knives very shortly, already being enthralled by another wonderful series of books (Raven by Giles Kristian) it may be a couple of weeks but I am eager to find out what happens next as I'm sure any prospective readers will be also.

Third Revolution by Gregory Kay can be bought on Amazon in the USA here and in the UK here, and no doubt elsewhere also.


N.B The book itself is fairly fast pace, I managed to read it in less than two weeks (bar a week I spent not reading anything at all) and in a fairly casual manner, but I imagine it could be read in a few days if the reader wished to do so.