In AFTER THE REVOLUTION, Robert Evans imagines a fractured America in 2070, presenting a dystopian vision of never-ending disunity and political competition. This read was a lot of fun.
In the distant future, meta humans created by the U.S. military have overthrown the government, but instead of a glorious new beginning for America, their addiction to violence and receding to isolation left the country a hot mess. America is now fractured into various states, many of them varying shades of bad, ranging from Christian fundamentalist theocracies to libertarian states virtually run by corporations.
Three people are on an intersection course that will decide the fate of a war. Manny lives in a Texan republic in an ongoing war against a neighboring theocratic state. He works as a fixer for foreign journalists so he can save up enough money to escape America entirely, only to face losing everything as the war heats up. Sasha wants to sneak into the theocratic state to live a pure life, only to find herself horrified by its brutality. And Roland, a meta human veteran, wants back the memories he lost due to some past trauma.
Some reviewers called this one prescient, though it’s hardly that. There isn’t anything here most people in today’s polarized America would even consider politically offensive. It is, however, a damn good read. The dystopian and civil war elements will feel familiar, while Evans spices it with enough future technology and oddness to give it both a sense of humor and greater depth. Thematically, there are no easy answers other than revolution that breaks a country but doesn’t replace it with something better will make it worse.
Overall, AFTER THE REVOLUTION is engagingly written and a lot of fun to follow, acting for me as a nice summer escape from rather than a mirror for the turbulent times we live in.