Thursday, December 21, 2017

Presidents' Day

I am so close to reaching my Goodreads goal of 100 books this year, I have three more to read by the end of the year. Totally do-able, right??

Presidents' Day - Seth Margolis
From the author of The Semper Sonnet and Losing Isaiah comes a tautly plotted political thriller, perfect for fans of the Netflix series 'House of Cards, ' where being President is the second most powerful job in the world-behind the person who put you there.

I need to admit that I signed up for this review simply because I really like House of Cards and this is thought to be in that similar vein. It's a political thriller and I can see why there are also Dan Brown comparisons, he isn't really a political thriller author but this book also has the larger than you can imagine, big picture story. The running theme in House of Cards is that sure, the President is a big deal but how much power does he really have? Isn't it more powerful to be in other positions, where deals are actually made, bribery and blackmail run rampant? Who really elects the President, us? Or is it really all rigged for reasons we can't understand? The argument can be made that's actually a reality given our current President was elected based on the electoral college yet lost the popular vote by millions- is there any point to voting? It's a really depressing way to look at American politics, especially given the current climate we're in right now, so if that isn't your jam or you just can't absorb any more of that in your life? Avoid this book. If you like to entertain a conspiracy theory, believe that true politics lie within the closed doors of the nation's capital, then this is your book.

So in this book we have Julian Mellow, who is the villain of the story, much like Kevin Spacey's character in House of Cards. He's determined to essentially buy the next President of the United States and make him a puppet in his larger plans of avenging his son's death in Africa. He has a shady history himself and once others figure out what he's doing they come in to "save the day" but they have their motives too. I can't really give you more without giving away some key plot points in the story that you really need to read in order for it all to unravel the way it's meant to.

Here's what I liked: if you are a fan of HoC you know that the characters have a plan, a backup, a backup to the backup, etc and can seemingly switch direction at the drop of the dime and it all still works- that's what we have here. No matter what is happening it seems like Julian is always a few steps ahead, every move has a purpose and has fingers grabbing onto other directions he could go at any moment. For that alone it's a fast read because it is action packed, there is quite a bit of violence in the book, but you find yourself not putting it down because it's just always moving forward. Oh! One of my favorite characters from HoC is the journalist out to uncover the story, he knows there is a larger game at play and ends up going to prison in the show. In this book that character is Zach and though he isn't totally the same, there were enough similarities for me to get excited about him in here. Aside from the violence (which I'm finding is a sticky thing for me as of late, I'm not sure why it bothers me, to be honest) this book teeters on the impossible. I'm sure some of this could happen. Maybe. But I am not a conspiracy theory buff, I don't think the government gives a hoot about us and I don't think they track us like people believe, so I'm not one to grab a political thriller normally. I firmly believe that if you ARE a political thriller fan, if you think there are larger things at work behind the government, you will very much enjoy this book. Overall? I'm giving it a 3.5/5 stars. Not quite up to a 4, but no less than a 3.

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