★★★★ Trumpery Resistance by J. Steven Young is a politically charged sci-fi thriller set in the year 2169, a century and a half after the “Unifying Event” destroyed half the country and allowed the president to declare a period of everlasting martial law. Now called the New Republic, America has become a dictatorship, and a distorted caste system keeps everyday citizens in check. Any who dissent are taken in for questioning—and never seen from again. MacKenzie Dillon is an Enforcer, a member of this new system’s violent, militaristic police force. Reconditioned as a child, MacKenzie has never stopped to ask how things ended up this way. But as he begins to wake up to the wickedness of the world around him, he gets recruited by a growing rebel force whose ultimate goal is to fish out and destroy the wormy dictator at the rotted apple’s core—the President of the United States.
This is a timely read for anyone who is starting to feel the anxiety of election season creeping up on them. Through animated allegory, Trumpery Resistance tackles the overwhelming feeling of helplessness that many have experienced after viewing the current administration’s actions these past few years. Young offers particular insight into the LGBTQ community’s world—MacKenzie is gay and must hide it out of fear of reprisal—but readers will also encounter injustices committed against women, the disabled, and ethnic minorities. While all of this might sound bleak, perhaps the most surprising thing about Trumpery Resistance is that its characters can find hope in even the darkest of circumstances. Young seems to be saying that, if they can do it, then, with luck, people who feel marginalized by modern politics will find the strength to fight another day.