In the Name of the Father by Michael Francis McDermott

‘Perfect.  In the Republic, there is only what is allowed, and what is not.’

2196.  A new world, in which the Republic is the sole surviving state.  The Father is the ruler, the Law is immutable, religion is banned.  Those who are citizens of the Republic are protected from the lawless sectors outside by electric fences.  Some of those who live outside conduct raids across the fence for supplies.

‘Freedom was a thing of the old world, a thing that had died with the ancient communities during the last conflicts, but it was a concept that wasn’t forgotten.’

In this epic dystopian tale, five different characters tell the story.  The good, the bad, the ugly, the impressionable and the exploited.  It’s a long, complex story with backstory provided in part as history lessons and the occasional soliloquy. BUT there is a lot of violence.  Unnecessarily graphic violence at times, in my view.  I am not squeamish, but I certainly didn’t need all the detail of torture and rape sometimes provided.  I get it. I worked out who the bad guys were, I don’t need to have frequent reinforcement of their badness.

I’m frequently in the mood these days for dystopian fiction, and I found a lot to like in Mr McDermott’s story.  I just wish it was less believable.  There’s hope here, as well as violence, love as well as hate.  Can the heroes build a new and better world?  I hope so.

Recommended, but not for the squeamish.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Hemisphere Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith