Follow Here To Purchase The Cause

Author: Roderick Vincent

Publisher: Roundfire Books (November 28, 2014)

ISBN-13: 978-1782797630

ISBN-13: 978-1782797630

To date, most reviews for Roderick Vincent's epic debut novel have been glowing. I easily concur with this trend, and admit it will be difficult to say anything new about it as these reviews make the same points I would have. They use the same adjectives and superlatives I'd have chosen. So my contribution here will essentially be another voice in the choir.

Like Caesar's Gaul, The Cause can be divided into three parts. The first establishes what is happening in the year 2022 when the United States has become a country where the government, ruled by financial oligarchs, is a democracy in name only. News broadcasters are under severe pressure to portray the government only in a favorable light, the internet is manipulated, and nationwide riots against economic hardships and police brutality are straining the social order. Surveillance comes from countless drones in the sky, some disguised as birds, and cops are often robots that look like animals.

In the lengthier second part, the book's narrator, African American hacker Isse Corvus Is recruited by an anti-government revolutionary group called the Minute men. In a brutal, secret black ops survival camp called the Abittoir, Corvus is forged and hardened in the crucible of deadly jungles and gladiatorial combat to prove his loyalty. He has his old values challenged as the Minute Men prepare for the coming war.

Then, back in the U.S., Corvus becomes an undercover agent assigned to hack the omniscient NSA’s servers overseen by Director Titus Montgomery. He's intent on pacifying America’s instigators, supporting the president's directive to impose law and order. Can the Minute Men take Montgomery down online and/or in a bloody gun battle?

As others have noted, The Cause takes current issues regarding economic disparity and government surveillance and plausibly shows what might easily happen in the near future. Unlike the more fantastical Hunger Games, Vincent's thematic palate includes explorations of issues like the distinctions between patriotism and treason, the meaning and importance of trust and loyalty, as well as the need for sacrifice and dedication to a cause greater than that of the individual even while the individual is fighting for individual rights.

Vincent is especially adept at blending his ambitious seriousness with a fast-paced action-adventure tale that is often vicious and graphic, especially in the Abattoir chapters. He paints extremely vivid settings, whether in the primitive jungles or the high-tech underground headquarters of the Minutemen. He presents a very believable cast of characters, many of whom we see evolve into cunning and merciless warriors.

Perhaps the best thing about The Cause is that it's clear it's only the first book in a series. Certainly, we'll get to see how the new revolution progresses, but hopefully we'll also see some of the characters return and develop relationships suggested in The Cause. Hopefully, the second volume will come out before any of the circumstances in The Cause move from speculative fiction into fulfilled prophecy. Reading the first chapters alone should chillingly suggest Vincent's dystopia isn't that far-fetched.