suppose the scenario for Without Warning is the angry American fantasy – what if America ceased to exist? What if it vanished? How much would we be missed?
In this case, “the wave” (an inexplicable energy barrier) falls over the United States (and central Canada, Mexico and most of Cuba), dematerializing all life within and locking the rest of the world without. In this bleak new world, we have a couple of interesting story/character arcs. There is the commander of Guantanamo Base, there is a southern lawyer (a fixer) on vacation in Hawaii, there is a hitwoman with a brain tumor who’s just lost cover in mid-mission, a war correspondent in Iraq, and then there is a ship with a smuggler and his two gun girls in the South Pacific. And all these characters make it through their own little adventures as the world tears itself up following the disappearance of the U.S. of A.
One problem facing the world are the unchecked fires and nuclear meltdowns that rip through our old country, bad enough to put a toxic cloud up over most of the northern hemisphere. Another problem is the crash of the world economic order, which sends many countries into blind panics. As food gets scarce and international trade falters, cities outside of the wave burn (including the ones the Israelis take out when they drop atom bombs all over the middle east). Yes, it’s a very unhappy world, this non-USA realm.
Of course, there were a number of conservative standbys in this tale. The French gloat at our disappearance, toasting it in Paris. And the Islamic migrants rise up into riots all across France (which, it seems, is in league with the Islamic terrorists from the get-go). Venezuela (under Chavez) makes a play, killing civilians at Guantanamo by the score. Oddly, the Russians stay quiet and the Chinese crash in a quiet heap, so they don’t get the author’s ire. And if you think I’m being hard, he admitted coming up with the book after hearing some college student say that maybe the world would be better off without America. So there.
Still, I have to admit I enjoyed this as an Audio book (I’d knocked most of it off in my cross-state hospital runs and only wrapped it up before due-date by listening to it over the weekend on the sofa). And, sadly, it is the first part of a set (why does this always happen to me – does anyone ever just write a stand-alone book anymore?) But overall, it closed enough loose ends so I was satisfied. I’m curious about how it actually all ended (I still don’t know why the wave appeared so suspiciously over us and nobody else).
Anyway, a good tale that got me through some long midnight miles. Fun if you don’t let the USA! USA! angle get away from you.