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American Judas

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This book ended up not being my cup of tea at the current time. It did not hold my interest as I had hoped.

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It has finally happened. After decades of trying, the Religious Right in America have finally turned the country into a true theocracy. Congress has passed the CHRIST Act, which eliminates freedom of religion and establishes Christianity as the only permissible faith to practice. This is the world in which Seth and Maggie Ginsberg now find themselves. Seth secretly attends an underground synagogue, until the authorities find out about it. Seth and his wife make plans to flee to Mexico but are betrayed by a “coyote.” Seth escapes but Maggie is caught and sent to a camp whose stated mission is to “save” her. While Maggie is fighting for survival in the camp, Seth launches a daring plan to rescue his wife.

American Judas by Mickey Dubrow is perhaps the most timely dystopian novel I have read in quite sometime. All one has to do is turn on the news to hear a conservative politician ranting about restoring religious freedom to the United States. While it is unlikely that America will ever become a theocratic state as in American Judas, this novel rings true in a number of ways. There has been the occasional call for making Christianity our official religion and states are regularly pushing the envelope with such laws as making the Bible the official state book. Dubrow has done an amazing job in drawing from current events to create a plot with a believable cast of characters, many that the reader can relate directly to current public figures and office holders. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it 5/5 stars.

*A copy of this ebook is the only consideration received in exchange for this review.*

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This was a unique read that I would say is just as an important piece of literature as the Handmaid's Tale. The author really painted a clear picture of what our world could become if we continue on our current path.

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A terrifying look at what an American theocracy could be.

This novel was heavily plot-driven, with a lot of message to its readers. The story started out innocuous enough, with just an undercurrent of dread. But it quickly escalated to worst-case scenario and became very grim. As is frequently needed in end-of-world novels, there was certainly some violence, but I would not call it gratuitous. Be forewarned there is some violence.

The author did a good job with interjecting some humor into his story. A few of my personal favorites:

"The Savior camps are not just for lapsed Christians and those afflicted with the disease of homosexuality. They also cure drug addictions, adulterers, Satan worshipers and Liberals."

"What's the point of being the damn American Judas if you don't make it so that a man can drink his beer in peace."

Tearing down the wall between church and state did not go so well in this world and provided a good reminder in these turbulent times. A state run church is not a new idea in this world, but radically changing the priorities and ideals of a freedom loving country is bound to create some backlash.

At one point, our protagonist Maggie asks Tiffany (an adolescent viewed as an example for all others) "Are you so perfect that you get to decide for other people?" And Tiffany's answer sums up for me how people can fall into this vicious scenario: "I'm not perfect. Just forgiven." My belief allows me to make mistakes and make decisions for others I believe are right. Scary stuff.

Overall, I found the pacing of this novel to be engrossing. I turned every page needing to know what happened next. Some aspects of the story were tied up with nice little bows, some aspects were left undone, and some aspects were sped to a hasty conclusion. I was left with a feeling of hope, which I find very important when reading any apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic fiction.

I see this is a debut novel from Mickey Dubrow and I thought it was well-done and timely. I will watch for future titles by this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced copy of this book.

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This was a scary, thought provoking novel. Though some aspects are (hopefully) a bit farfetched, others are seemingly getting closer to reality everyday (separating children from mothers). I plan on recommending this book to every one I know in public service and policy-related positions as a cautionary tale.

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Dubrow's debut novel is compelling, dark, and unbelievable (almost). Today's political climate contributed to the un-put-downable aspect of this dystopian tale. One downside - disconnection between the subplots. There were four of five subplots, some of which were left hanging. Although characters were connected at times, it seemed like plot switching occured without a real reason for the switch.

Looking forward to more work from this author.

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American Judas, is well written, good story and characters from a technical point of view. Yet it is far flung fiction which I guess is no crime. I just hate to see so much obvious writing talent wasted on the premise of the CHRIST ACT and JESUS ZOMBIES in 2018 America, like that is even close? Come on, your writing is great but this story line not.

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I think the scariest thing about Dubrow's book is how for the first time in my lifetime, this is plausible. Borders are closed, everything is a sin under the new state religion and people are worshiping in secret, having affairs in secret and trying not to get pregnant, which is a must.

Now that there is no division between church and state, Seth is having to go underground to worship as a Jew. Or risk being sent to Savior Camp. Everyone has converted to the State religion though some escaped the country before the borders closed.

The holy people aren't so holy but more hypocritical which is usually the case when you put corrupt people in power. A lot like Trumplandia.

I had hope in the end however. Very well done and properly and timely as well!
Netgalley/Southern Fried Karma

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