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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Merchants of Hate is a geopolitical thriller set in a dystopian future where western democracies have been taken over by far-right nationalist powers that rule through a combination of fear-mongering, misinformation, and propaganda. Written by Jack Jardel, the book follows multiple characters across the globe as they continue to struggle against the extremist regimes amidst an unprecedented natural calamity, where massive solar flares take out the satellites and power grids, resulting in a global communications blackout, causing hysteria, food and power shortages, and fear and panic amongst the masses. The world is in disarray as the US President James Alberton continues to dance to the tune of flatterers and fools, while New Beginnings, a far-right political party governing Britain, tightens its screw over immigrants as it answers to the global crisis. Meanwhile, North Korea is on the verge of invading Seoul. But a revolution is brewing underneath that may change the world.
An apt representation of the current geopolitical climate, Jack Jardel's fast-paced thriller perfectly captures the treacherous nature of fascist regimes, where lies and propaganda reign supreme and the welfare of society is an afterthought. Merchants of Hate is a riveting cacophony of plot threads that somehow come together to create a mesmerizing symphony. Jack Jardel weaves an intricate plot and entices you with multiple POVs involving characters that wouldn't look out of place in an A-list Hollywood movie. The political intrigue alongside some of the meta-commentary, combined with smartly delivered dialogue, make Merchants of Hate an enrapturing page-turner. I enjoyed every single moment of it, and I highly recommend it.