Book Review: Outland Exile: Book 1 of Old Men and Infidels by W. Clark Boutwell
Today, I will be reviewing Outland Exile: Book 1 of Old Men and Infidels by W. Clark Boutwell, which was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day for May 21st!
About the Book
The United States is dead and the Democratic Unity killed it.
After catastrophic wars and the Meltdown, The Unity rules from its East Coast citadel, leaving the outlands to savages and its strangely altered plants. Providing free health care, employment, and ThiZ (the drug of any really civilized life), the Unity mandates retirement at forty before fatigue and error contaminate a culture of youth, innovation and vigor.
With liberating body implants, history’s finest democracy supervises every citizen for her/his/its own and the nation’s welfare. Seventeen-year-old Lieutenant Malila Chiu, is a veteran officer who, despite well-earned fame, finds her career in tatters. Vandalism at a distant station triggers her demotion. Facing denunciation … or worse, Malila’s one option is to enter the outlands to repair the station herself. At first, the repairs go well.
This book was a fairly simple one to read and was quite enjoyable, but it certainly helps that I am a fan of good dystopian fiction. The characters were well developed, particularly Malila Evanova Chiu and Jesse and I really wanted to know how their dynamic would play out and what sort of long term situations might arise from it. The author did an amazing job of detailing out the scenes and it really helped the book come alive.
There were a few parts I didn't particularly enjoy, and I thought that the social commentary aspects of the book got a little heavy handed at times, but that isn't to say it wasn't interesting and valuable social commentary, just that I wish it was a little more subtle and the author didn't try to bash the reader over the head with it quite as much.
Still, it was a quite enjoyable read and I can imagine a lot of people loving it, so I'm going to give it four out of five stars and say that I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. He did a really good job of bringing this story to life and setting up his dytopian and science fiction world.
About the Author
Born in Chicago and raised outside Philadelphia, Clark has taught and practiced intensive care for newborn infants on four continents and eight countries, as he continues to do. He lives with his bride of 40 years in Alabama. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. He has been an avid solo hiker, backpacker, and climber since he was a mere lad of 11.
"Outland Exile" is his debut novel and the first book of an expected five book series centering on aging, medical care, cybernetics, society and faith in a future America.
Book Two, Exiles' Escape is due out from Indigo River Publishing, summer of 2017. The third book (w/t Malila of the Scorch) and the close of the Jesse/Malila narrative is due late 2018.
Check it out at Online Book Club!