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Twilight    by Brendan DuBois order for
by Brendan DuBois
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2007 (2007)

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* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Samuel Roth Simpson has taken a break from his duties as a reporter for the Toronto Star, and he now belongs to a United Nations fact-finding team charged with an important mission: the team must find evidence of specific war-crimes committed in the United States in the immediate aftermath of widespread nuclear terrorism.

The civilized and well-ordered society of 21st century America has been virtually destroyed, and now rogue militias have taken violent control of isolated regions throughout the United States. The members of the UN team (and others like it), however, are regarded by many as invaders who are not welcome in the homeland. Because of the hostile environment, Simpson soon finds himself in grave danger - both from the militias and, more disturbingly, because of someone in his UN team who may be a traitor intent upon protecting the dark, disturbing secrets behind the nuclear terrorism.

Simpson will find much that is bad and ugly (and some that is good) during his harrowing adventures in upstate New York (the locale for the action in Twilight), but he will be forever and profoundly affected by what he ultimately discovers about the evil reasons for all that has happened to the United States in its recent, terrifying past. And then, when all seems completely lost, and with only a few reasons for remaining hopeful, Simpson must find a way to confront and accept the future.

Full of spellbinding action and breathtaking images, Twilight is a careful and brutal consideration of what life might be like in the United States in the aftermath of devastating attacks. Complex characterizations, a nightmarish plot, and thought-provoking issues combine to make this must-read novel a powerful and disturbing experience.

Other writers throughout the centuries have shared their dystopian visions of our world having gone haywire, but veteran author Brendan DuBois has improved upon past offerings and given us a singular novel of spectacular implications. With ten previous novels and two short story collections to his credit, DuBois has already firmly established himself as an accomplished and provocative storyteller; with Twilight, he goes a step further by terrifying readers with a most alarming view of a very plausible future.

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