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Carry the Flame
by James Jaros
Harper Voyager, $8 USA, $9.50 Canada, 404pp
Release Date: July 31, 2012
It is a shame to see such an eloquent defense of the ecology marred by clichéd button pushing and obsolete character tropes. Well, no writer's perfect, even if this author has won four Emmy awards. This is the second in a post-apocalyptic series, with not too much back story at the necessary spots. Global warming has finally tipped over into eco-catastrophe, and killer winds have turned the American grain belt into a desert. A band of survivors makes their way across the land, facing many dangers. There are the packs of pixie bobs, the vicious offspring of house cats. There is a murderous tyrannical Alliance . A new plague virus has made sexual intercourse only safe in the first year of girls' puberty, and religion has, of course, adapted its message to see fit. The Army of God is full of villains who are homosexual rapists as they denounce the evils of sex. But wait, it gets more right wing. Most of this novel is devoted to the survivors captured in the City of Shade , where black men abuse white women before feeding them to Komodo dragons. The black Mayor has a carpet his ancestor took from the Oval Office, for no story purpose except obvious allusions as far as I can tell. It is offputting to liberal sensitivities, but those kind of people don't need to read a series like this anyway. They already believe in global warming, so it would be preaching to the choir. ~~ Mike Griffin
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