Tomorrow War: The Chronicles of Max [Redacted], by J. L. Bourne

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When first starting, Tomorrow War: The Chronicles of Max [Redacted], I didn’t realize where the story would lead. Actually, I think I expected more science fiction than I would normally wish for.  It wasn’t at all.

It is a well done, realistic story that takes place in the very near future.  The year 2021.  Not far from now at all, as quickly as time passes.

Setting up the story, the author is critical of the government, but don’t take it personally.  It is not one side or the other.  He describes the political sides as, “two heads of the same beast,” a view many today will find appropriate as the author sets the premise for the rest of the novel.  It is written in an interesting format.  Using a collection of transcripts that are redacted, crossed out, reworded, and updated, we are introduced to Max [Redacted]. Cleverly done, it is a story that will make you question both events we see today as well as what your reactions might be to a similar future.

The Story

Max has just completed SEAR training.  From there he heads out to further extreme training, much of it focused on handling interrogation.  Why exactly isn’t revealed, but the training will prove invaluable.  Only five last through the intensive training. Max is one.

Next scene,  Max [Redacted]  is teamed with Margaret [Redacted]  for his first assignment.  That assignment takes the two of them into Syria.

Only the Beginning

Not long after the mission is completed, Max receives a strange call from Margaret. Though she should not reveal what she knows to Max, she warns him of a coming event, suggests a long vacation—immediately, with actual currency that he can hold in his hands when he does. She tells him their mission was the beginning of something disastrous.

From that point, I was hooked.  If you enjoy survivalist stories, I believe you will enjoy this book.

What follows is a rapid collapse of the economy.  Who caused it and the reason for it may be the scariest part.  The result is predictable in some ways, but outrageous still.  The circumstances will lead to rampant crime and marshall law, the government controlling food supply, weapons, air space, and even the air waves.

Can you imagine how that would look?

I think the book gives a very good view of it.  It’s frightening.

Deterioration leads to marshall law.  Marshall law leads to curfews.  It also leads to confiscation of guns.  Soon any registered weapon must be turned in before its owner will be given any food!  When there is little food to be found, many willingly to surrender their guns.  An amazing requirement though when lawlessness is rampant.  Max has already had to defend himself and his home repeatedly.  Without his weapons he would have been killed.

If it were to happen, what would you do?  How would you prepare?  It’s a question that has Max shaking his head as he watches people spend on items that will soon be totally useless.

The book shows the variety of reaction.  Some hunt others to steal what they need.  Some are helpless, relying on the government to provide.  Some attempt to maintain their lives with  reasonable concern.  When it comes down to survival though, it is often a case of doing whatever it takes, with less concern for anyone else.  With people grow desperate for food, violence can easily follow.

The story tells of Max, his preparation and planning, and his decisions.  He is just trying to survive, but connections he makes put him in the spotlight of those in control.  When the “law” searches him out, along with his family, Max will go from defense and self preservation to war.

It’s a story of possibilities.  A private source or a government may well be able to set it in motion.  Where it might lead is all too plausible.  As a means to change the fabric of our nation, it would be very effective.

A Negative Side to Technology

I’ve read a few other books that follow a similar theme, enjoying every one.  While some may consider the ideas behind them conspiracy theories, what happens as a result is probably likely.  With technology so key to our lives today, should something interfere with it, it is hard to imagine how much it would impact all aspects of our lives.  It seems a good idea to pay attention to how to prepare for such an event, just as one would for a natural disaster.

The book is a stand alone, but it seems to be the beginning to a new series. J L Bourne is the author  of the Day by day Armageddon series.   While that series apparently includes zombies, don’t be dissuaded because of that.  This has no zombies, vampires, or other supernatural monsters.  It is simply a few years in the future, using technology that is already here. Drones already fly our skies. Our privacy is already being invaded online especially.  Gun ownership is already being questioned and debated.  It is more than enough to make you think. Consider what the next few years may bring.

Mr. Bourne has been an active military officer for over 20 years, which certainly enables him to give a realistic view of that hierarchy.  He currently resides in Florida.

Listening through Audible

The audio version of Tomorrow War was excellent.  Jay Snyder, a familiar name in narration, does a fantastic job.  Not only with the voices, but also the timing.  You can hear the tension in his voice as each scene unfolds. The unabridged version (always recommended over abridged) runs just over eight hours.  It goes so quickly, you will wish it was longer.  You can listen to a sound bite from the book right here.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

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