Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Book Review: The Silent Army by James Knapp

Pros: complex plot, characters face difficult ethical decisions


I've seen the question of what to do when faced with two equally unpleasant choices dealt with in several books lately (Mockingjay & Monsters of Men come immediately to mind).  There are only two choices, pick the lesser of two evils or try to find a third, more acceptable option.

Agent Nico Wachalowski is asked to join forces with the revivors (reanimated dead) against those who can manipulate minds and memories - and kill their leader, Ai.  He's asked by Ai to fight with her people against the revivors, who are in possession of 9 nuclear devices and are planning to use them to destroy the city.

Both sides make convincing arguments as to the dangers posed by their enemies.  And like most decisions of this nature, when Nico finally makes his choice, he's not satisfied with it.

Meanwhile Zoe Ott is seduced by Ai's agent Penny into joining their side, and Calliope Flax, back from a two year tour of duty, does some dangerous detective work in hopes of impressing Nico and perhaps landing a job with the FBI.

The problem with reading a debut as good as State of Decay is the fear that the sequel won't live up to expectations.  The Silent Army does everything right.  This is not a filler book for a trilogy.  The plot is tight and complex and the characters are forced to deal with difficult situations and make tough choices.

If you haven't started this series, you're really missing out on something great.  The third book, Element Zero, is out April 5th.

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