By Roderick Vincent
Publisher: Roundfire Books (November 28, 2014) 330 pages
A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman
“But this is deception. It’s moving very fast, and just because you can’t see and feel it, doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.”
Roderick Vincent’s debut novel provides a believable look at a not-too-distant future where loyalty, politics, trust, and the ability to be interpretative of the “truth” are all inseparably bound together. CIA, FBI. NSA, drones, patriotism verses betrayal doesn’t even scratch the surface of the main themes and steadily plot driven action displayed in The Cause by Roderick Vincent. While the novel’s title was a bit perplexing, readers will not be disappointed with what the book delivers, there is tension and anticipation.
|Photo: Sami Haqquani|
The novel begins with the protagonist Isse Corvus and his elite CIA graduating class who are approached to join a separate black ops organization. Meanwhile, several memories of Isse’s childhood and of his father create an empathy with the reader while giving insight and development to his character. Vincent’s use of metaphors are clever and vivid.
I found myself on the edge of my seat when Seee introduces the group to “The Pit.” This reminded me very much of the television series titled Homeland. It is when Corvus becomes a member of the minutemen that the novel is in full climatic action and the twist and turns take course. There were a few times, that as a reader, I became distracted due to the overuse of sentences beginning with, “But,” “And,” “Then there,” along with “Perhaps.” However, they don't derail the narrative tension nor the tone of the story. My only other complaint is at times there was more telling of the story instead of showing the story.
RoderickVincent takes his time weaving together the development of his characters, who ultimately prove to be far more connected than they might seem. For example, many of the minutemen have a computer technology past with the protagonist. Moreover, Uriah’s “leap of Faith” creates round and dynamic characters with a subtle theme of loyalty. Most of all, I was very impressed with the author’s knowledge of the old CRAY-2, SIGINT, along with the indirect hints of the NSA's Operation Shamrock at the beginning of chapter 17. Chapter 19 in comparison also had my full attention and reminded me the importance to have a good “nose” if one becomes a spy or informant. This is where Montgomery gives the greatest line of the novel,
Overall, the novel presents a well-researched fictional portrait of the complicated/secretive relationships between the media, politics, and those who have ultimate power. The book is tightly plotted and paced like a bullet, with scenes that feel all too plausible and terrifying for what could very well happen. A sequel is hinted at the end. For lovers of fictional spy dystopian thrillers, I believe this has a potential for a great series because Vincent is one fine writer. I highly recommend The Cause by Roderick Vincent.
is the author of the upcoming Minutemen series about a dystopian America. The first novel, titled The Cause, will be out in 2014.
A good part of his childhood and young-adult years were spent living on the island of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
The first short story he wrote in March of 2000 titled The Tarlang (named after the Army carrier that used to bring the Marshallese people into work every morning) was later transformed into General Patton’s Promise which was published in Straylight in 2009.
Beyond his fiction writing, he blogs about the future, and the changing times of the world we live in." From roderickvincent.com
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for an honest review.