Fiction - Science Fiction
232 Pages
Reviewed on 04/11/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

“People needed someone who would fight for them, for none among them would ever care or really try. Morale had sunk into an abyss where truth did not exist; where all we heard with our own ears and saw with our own eyes could be a lie, and anything seemed possible. Then he came along. They killed Boudicca. And now they’re going to kill me.” Autarchy by Grant Winston is a political sci-fi story set on a planetary-lunar nation-state formed by the planet Curmis, and its two orbiting moons, Ghelinis and Vorbishte. Through his letters, Hempstead Patrick tells of the heroic efforts of his journalist sister, Boudicca-amplified by the account of his former advokat, Theodoric Eonizon-and how she and others tried to protect a free and open society from one man’s autarchy.

The narrative format told through Hemp’s letters and Theodoric’s writing suited the tone of the story. In Autarchy’s plot, Winston reinforces the idea that despite the era or location, the political games of power, corruption, and lies stay the same. The story reflects the world politics of today and provides scenarios of what could happen or perhaps what’s already happening. The governance of the planetary-lunar nation is already in crisis but when the determined antagonist Colander takes power, its established beliefs, laws, institutions, and values greatly falter. I find it somewhat of a fictionalized retelling of a surprising political shift that the world experienced a few years back.

Boudicca and her colleagues represent the issue of vilification and threat to journalism when they try to make the truth be heard. When her brother and another journalist found out what had happened to her, it’s emotional and also frustrating with the way the authorities disrespect the family. Thought-provoking and worryingly relatable, in this story readers will find a substantial read with a clear message; the world will always need a movement of people committed to defending democracy.