This review was published on Reedsy/Discovery.
Blake Hamner, Crisis Communications Manager in the president’s circle, and Maria Worthington, a news media anchor, are married and struggling with many of the same issues most young couples face: demanding careers, conflicting schedules and family planning delays. Written in the first person, the reader gets inside Blake’s head, which is filled with ambivalence.
As Blake’s personal life and health takes a backseat to his role as point person for damage control, he has his hands full. Blake serves the president, referred to as “our leader,” a man whose character is the antithesis of presidential. The newly appointed Crisis Communications Director is demoniacal, and robotic dogs protecting “Our Leader’s Compound” are out of control.
While Blake spins the news and Maria reports it, Jetpack, a mysterious rebel superhero, tries to undermine the presidency. Throughout all this chaos, the author cleverly weaves in humor at just the right moments. As the mystery builds, curves and unravels, the sparring between the characters adds an element of levity that makes this book a fun read. I also like the diversity of characters inclusive of transgender and interracial marriage.
The book is well-edited, and Bender wraps up the ending nicely. I recommend this book to fans of dystopia who would appreciate a comedic writing style and the underlying themes of marital challenges, finding your purpose, diversity and manipulation through social media.