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Reviewed by Paul F. Johnson for Readers' Favorite
In Bleed Out: When Reason Dies by Straughn Bowman, “It” has happened. Violence and mayhem have overtaken America. The United States is united no more. Chaos, cruelty, desperation, and death are rampant. The President of the United States reshaped the country to a state where victimization was the norm. Everything was politicized, driving a deep wedge between northern and southern states once again. Humanity has broken down and greed, brutality and self preservation have swept across wide sections of the country, leaving only violence and death in its wake. How can anyone survive? The newly formed Republic of Texarkana is thriving, but the President of the Republic may not be totally mentally competent. When a rogue city wants to remain in the United States, he simply can’t let that happen. Extreme measures are called for if his Republic is to survive.
The plot of the story is told through the eyes and points of view of five different groups. They strive to learn to survive in their dangerous new reality. The characterization of the multiple main characters, while completely different, is nicely done. Some the readers will immediately feel a bond with them; others not so much. As the stories begin to unfold, the reader will be taken to places the depth of which no one can fully imagine. With our current political climate, could something like this really happen? Many authors use cliffhangers in ending a story when sequels are expected. This one, however, has five cliffhangers. Many readers may find that a little annoying, but I can see that down the line there could be a book totally about each group. It should be interesting. Very good story. I liked it.