Description: America is falling, ready to join the Roman Empire as a distant memory in the annals of history. The year is 2027. Tired and desperate, the American people are deep in the middle of The Second Great Depression. The Florida coastline is in ruins from the most powerful hurricane on record; a second just like it is bearing down on the state of Texas. For the first time in history, the Middle East has united as one and amassed the most formidable army the world has seen since the Third Reich. A hidden army of terrorists is on American soil. This is the story of three men: Howard Beck, the world’s richest man, also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Richard Dupree, ex-Navy SEAL turned escaped convict. Maxwell Harris, a crippled, burned out Chief of Police of a small Texas town. At first they must fight for their own survival against impossible odds. Finally, the three men must band together to save their beloved country from collapse.
My Thoughts: I like dystopian fiction because there's a slightly sociopathic aspect of my personality that likes smashing the world to bits. Not the most honorable part of myself, to be sure, but definitely the most fun, kind of like that kid who builds Lego towers over and over again just to knock them down. Collapse is an excellent novel in that regard. I admittedly lawled a little bit over the idea of Iran being able to conquer anyone, but in the good-hearted way you laugh at the sillier aspects of action movies while still maintaining suspension of disbelief. Stephenson keeps the plot moving along at a deft pace and is adept at skipping between a multitude of characters while keeping their voices distinct. (I will note that it's a good thing that the book is ensemble, though, because my dislike of the Navy SEAL character was approaching hateboner territory by the end.) It's a fun little popcorn read, and I'll definitely look at the second book when it comes out this summer.