Author : Mark Spivak
Title : The American Crusade
Published : 2019
Publisher : TCK Publishing
Pages : 260
Genre : Political Thriller
On May 1, 2001, a group of radical Islamic terrorists crash a Boeing 737 jet airliner into the Mall of America—and Vice President Robert Hornsby knows his moment is coming. The attack kills three thousand American citizens and throws an entire nation into a panic, but all Hornsby sees is an opportunity, a chance to imprint his fanatical values on the soul of the country he loves and become the most powerful vice president in American history. With the aid of his affable but ineffectual president; the reluctant, conscience-stricken secretary of defense; and a preening, foppish faith leader with more than a few skeletons in his closet; Hornsby declares war on terror—and anyone who stands in his way.
I'll start this off by saying I was given a free copy of this book for my honest and fair review. The world of political thrillers is not one I have dipped my toe into too often. For the most part, my views on politicians are not a great one and as such, I normally skip over such books. But with a little downtime at the moment, when I was offered the chance to read The American Crusade I figured maybe it was worth a shot. I'm also a sucker for books by authors I have never read. It gives you a chance to exuberance a new viewpoint into the world. So for me, this book was a great deal of going into the unknown.
As I started to pass through the first few chapters I was starting to get the sinking feeling of what have I got my self into. This all seemed to be very ferociously patriotic. Don't get me wrong I love my country but there is a line. And while this book is about America I have spent a great deal of time there I realize just how much they love theirs, it can at times be a lot to take in from an outside point of view. But this is where things took a turn in my mind for the better. This is an author who can see that it can all become at times very absurd. That for some in politics, it is all about what they can get for themselves. In doing so we get to see Hornsby for the maniacal, ego-driven man he is. He is a man who will use any opportunity no matter how deplorable to further himself and in doing so drag along anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in his slipstream. While it is fairly obvious who he is supposed to be, with the political landscape the way it is now you could easily swap him out for a good many real-life political figures. The same can be said for those other people I came into contact within this book. familiar to all but just taken to that little bit more of an extreme. All of this is done with a very considerate touch by the author. Push them too far and it all becomes one giant joke. But here we get to experience it as both satirical humor and a nervous worry as you find yourself wondering how far any of them will really go to.
For many, the base story will be all too familiar, after all the events of 9/11 and the war that was to follow are seared into our minds whether we want them to be or not. What I would say is that Spivak uses it as a starting off point rather than a hard and fast set of rules he could not divert from. He has created something very original out a series of events that took place in the real world. It is very easy to get lost in this dark and foreboding world he has created. out minds are sent any here there and everywhere as Hornsby sets out his game of chess, not only with the enemies of American but also those that are supposed to all be on his side. This is a game of puppet masters, these men care little for anything other than power and control. I suppose what makes this book all the more terrifying is that we have all seen it play out time and again in the real world. It's is only through that lens of humor we get to step back and see it all for what it really is. It was also interesting for me to delve into the accounts of crusades of the Holly lands from a much more distant history. They work as this parallel showing the reader that unfortunately all to often history is repeated time and time again. That men seeking power will spill the blood of a great many others in the hope of building themselves a mountain to stand out a proclaim their greatness.
I have to confess this book gave me a much more enjoyable experience than I had at first expected. It is one of those reads that you find your self tumbling aloud, but he can do that or for god sake is everyone too stupid to see what he is up to. And for me, that added so much to this book. Not only do we get this brilliant satire of American politics but also a great thriller which makes the reader not only question all but also want to see how it will all end. It is within this hybrid that the author pulls off what I hope he was aiming for. For me, it works brilliantly and is a book that I would happily recommend.
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