Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Book Review - Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh

Spademan is back... and things are more dicey now than ever before! I loved Sternberg's debut Shovel Ready. It was a unique and entertaining take on a noir thriller that was set in a dystopian world where dirty bombs have ruined New York. In Near Enemy Sternberg not only reaches the heights of his debut, but arguably raises the stakes even more. 

Set a year after the events in Shovel Ready, Spademan now faces even more dire circumstances. Terrorists have somehow managed to hijack the limnosphere, and they're doing it from somewhere inside of New York. As Spademan finds himself caught up in a complex web he find out just how close these new enemies really are, and how dangerous they can be. 

Near Enemy, just like Shovel Ready, is a fast paced no frills thriller filled with cracking action and an intriguing story. I loved Spademan again, and his broody nature and how he interacted with others was one of the highlights of the book. New York is depicted brilliantly, and the small insights we gain into the world are fascinating and enthralling (rise of private security armies, corporations replacing police, everybody arming themselves, total breakdown of government and failure of politicians etc). One of Sternbergh's strengths from Shovel Ready was his ability to convey the harshness of a society that has essentially collapsed (and the players who have rushed to fill the power vacuum), and this is again very evident in Near Enemy. The plot moves along at a cracking pace, and I found myself easily reading this into the early hours of the morning without realising. It is brutal and enthralling at the same time, and I just couldn't put it down. My only criticism is that the twists and turns are telegraphed a little, and I found the whole 'burqa = bad guy' thing a little off-putting. 

All in all though this book is a solid and very entertaining read. Sternbergh has left things open for the next instalment, and I cannot wait to dive into it based on the little tidbits of information that were revealed in this release. Highly recommended for fans of dystopian fiction. 

4 out of 5 stars.


A review copy was provided. 

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