Author: Michael Landweber

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers/Sci-Fi

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: March 8, 2022

Book Description: For fans of Ben Winters and Sarah Pinsker, this mind-bending and thought-provoking novel pushes the limits of fiction, questioning the violence sewn into our DNA.

Violence is a thing of the past—but do new horrors lie in wait?

Imagine a world devoid of violence—a world where fists can’t hit, guns don’t kill, and bombs can’t destroy. In this tantalizing novel of possibility, this has—suddenly and inexplicably—become our new reality.

The U.S. president must find a new way to wage war. The Pope ponders whether the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is still relevant. A dictator takes his own life after realizing that the violence he used to control his people is no longer an option.

In the first days after the change, seven people who have experienced violence struggle to adapt to this radical new paradigm: Dab, a bullied middle schooler; Marcus, a high school student whose brother is the last victim of gun violence in America; Ann, a social worker stuck in an abusive marriage; Richard, a professor whose past makes him expect the worst inthe present; Gabriela, who is making a dangerous border crossing into the U.S.; the Empty Shell, a dissident writer waiting to be tortured in a notorious prison; and Julian, a white supremacist plotting a horrific massacre. As their fates intertwine, the promise and perils of this new world begin to take shape.

Although violence is no longer possible, that doesn’t mean that some among us won’t keep trying. Mindless cruelty is still alive and well—and those bent on destruction will seek the most devious means to achieve it.

Rating: 3. 5 stars

Review: This is an alternate history story, of what happens when all people cannot harm other people. Told from many characters points of views, some the bullied or the abused or even the witnesses and some of the aggressor’s when one day as they are harming or being harmed seems to suddenly cease.

This book poses many interesting questions of what happens to these people, especially the aggressors. When one cannot harm the way we traditionally think of harming what does occur to them.

This was a really interesting, thought provoking read. While it all seems amazing what is happening in the beginning, might not be so satisfying in the end.

I did enjoy this book a lot. My one complaint is how many characters are written. It took a while to cycle through them, so it was difficult at times to remember what there place was in this story. This is a highly discussable book that raises many, many questions of morality. This is definitely worth reading.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by:Lauren A.

You really can say I am an obsessed reader as I read 200-300 books per year. I love Literary Fiction, Memoirs (I don't really care what kind), Mysteries and Thrillers. Once in awhile I will thrown in some YA and Romance. When I am not reading, I am a Sales Engineer for a software company, and I take care of my three cats with my husband. I love music, which my college degree is in. Looking forward to share my thoughts on all things reading.

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