Inevitable by Jonathan Nace
Hello from vacation! That’s right, I’m off work through Labor Day and I couldn’t be happier. I also could not believe as I left work on Thursday, I said to my boss “see you in September.” SEPTEMBER YOU GUYS. How is that even possible? I felt like this summer went by so fast, that it almost didn’t even exist.
Anyway, before I make you all hate me with my overjoyed “no work” talk over here, I’m going to start talking about the first book I’ve read on my vacation, Jonathan Nace’s Inevitable. I was actually contacted by Nace through my blog to see if I have ever considered reviewing self-published books. I told him that it wasn’t something I’d done before, but I was certainly open to the idea if I found interest in a book’s subject matter. Mr. Nace was kind enough to send me over a little description of his book, along with the Amazon page. I told him I was intrigued and he sent me a copy of his book! And so, this is where I’m obligated to tell you that I received a free digital copy of Inevitable in exchange for an honest review. I have received no compensation for this review.
Inevitable is a book set in a dystopian society in the United States, or what’s left of it. The world has slowly been running out of water, and with that, all of the resources that the population has come to rely on. Because of this, the government has taken extreme measures and passed The Bill and created a fourth branch of government, The Office of Population Management. This branch carefully manages the lives of the citizens right down to determining how long each individual has to live based upon numerous factors and calculations. They also operate pretty separate from the main government in that there aren’t the usual checks and balances on The Office. It was an extreme measure, but deemed necessary, as people were called to question what was more important, quantity of lives versus quality of life.
The book revolves around its main character, Ben Zachary. Ben has been wrongly accused for committing fraud against The Office and treason against the United States citizens. This all ties back to a crime that Ben was previously acquitted of when he was younger. But this time, he isn’t fully told any details of this “crime” upon being taken into custody, nor is he provided a lawyer or any real form of defense. The Office is making an example of Ben in that no one can cheat The Office. Trying to help Ben are his friend Brett and friend/love interest Patricia. Working against Ben is Agent Gabriel, a worker from The Office who specializes in catching and turning in people who try and escape their inevitable fates.
So overall, I really liked Inevitable. Was it perfect? No, but as a whole the story really worked. The characters are little bit flat but were likable (or appropriately unlikeable in some cases), and I did find the plot a bit predictable towards the end, however I don’t think this was necessarily a problem. I felt like the overall message wasn’t lost, and it was this overall message that was most important, not the final outcome of the book. What is the overall message you ask? From what I took from the book, it’s that we have to be very careful with the power that is given to government for it is easy for this power to eventually go to far (on top of becoming outdated). One of the most interesting passages I read in the book was where some of the characters were discussing the creation of The Bill. It was formed in a time of dire urgency; the United States would not have been able to survive on the same path it was on. Then the general statement was made that all bills of this nature are created in a desperate time of need. The problem is, once the United States was working in a way where the country and its people could survive, the urgency was gone and there was no press to further re-evaluate The Bill. What if the power of The Office was being abused, but if this abuse isn’t directly affecting an individual, they’re just happy to see water flowing in the rivers and lakes.
While reading Nace’s book, I admired his ability to create a dystopian society that, scary as it is to think about, seems realistic. Obviously one hopes that nothing like the circumstances of Inevitable come to pass in the real world, but the most successful dystopian societies created in books are ones where the reader is able to sit back and think “that could actually happen.” Also, where Nace’s writing really shines in the book is in discussion of laws and the balancing of government. I was actually prompted to think about situations in today’s government and society that seem similar to those in Inevitable. Obviously the U.S. government isn’t currently issuing “death dates” to its citizens, but at the same time, we don’t have a perfect government either. I’m not going to go into a political rant or anything, but Inevitable does a great job at making its reader think.
I’m very happy that Mr. Nace reached out to me with the opportunity to read his book. For one thing, I admire anyone that has an idea that they’re able to put down on paper and make it come together as a completed book. But Mr. Nace succeeded in more than that, he wrote pretty good book! I mean hey, I finished the book in less than 48 hours, so that has to tell you something. I definitely would recommend this book to others!
As an aside, I actually think Inevitable would make a really cool movie. Now, I know what you’re thinking “the movie versions are never as good, why would you do that to a book that you like?!” BUT I think the story could translate really well onto the big screen – plus dystopian societies are all the rage in Hollywood right now!