Town 20

by Timothy Freriks
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

"In my mind, I see the entire population free and happy and doing something they enjoy doing, living well, loving other people."

In the author’s latest dystopian novel, it is the year 2098, and the citizens of the totalitarian “Unity” (formerly the United States of America) have become victims of emotion-suppressing drugs, public manipulation, and a profit-driven fascist government. The Top Echelon, government officials with an elevated status, have created a false vision of the world to keep the middle-class people (“frogs”) suppressed. Brilliant programmer Markus receives clues that this manufactured world may not be what it seems. Paul Maven, a member of the resistance and assistant to a prominent member of the Top Echelon, recruits Markus to help the rebels bring down the Unity. Will Markus, Maven, and their team of outsiders succeed in destroying the fascist state, or will they be halted by another force stronger and more powerful than the Unity and resistance combined?

Freriks deftly mixes war, politics, and espionage with romance and modern-day technology in this riveting story. Setting the novel not far into the future gives him the freedom to speculate on the effect of technology, surveillance, and influence of current government leaders. His opposition of the elitist leadership is demonstrated by his portrayal of prominent government officials Porter and Wootten as weak and unintelligent. His novel is a page-turning tale of compassionate citizens trying to protect the nation from destruction.

Stylistically, Frerik’s use of point of view is appealing. Within each chapter, the storyline alternates between Unity and resistance. The introduction of a third party vying for control of the country is a bit confusing at first. As the conflict unfolds, however, the lines of loyalty become clear. This dystopian story has similarities to the novel 1984, yet the focus on technology provides a creative and fresh perspective on the perpetual battle between good and evil that is not to be missed.

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