ARC provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.
A powerful and terrifyingly necessary novella; I sincerely hope that it’s not prophetic.
Gun violence and mass shooting, we’ve all heard about it; it has happened way too many times for the past couple of years. I’m not American, I never lose someone close to me to gun violence or mass shooting. Even then, I found that this book was dark, terrifying, and powerful because looking at the state of the world now, I can’t dispute the chance that Vigilance would never happen. I envision this book will be even more terrifying for American or anybody who has lost someone to gun violence or mass shooting. There’s a lot of violent and strong content here. Please remember, this is a work of fiction. Try to be open-minded and let it be a wakeup call instead.
“A firearm should provoke analysis and thought, not action. Or that’s how it should be, at least. But thinkin’ is something more and more people seem goddamn reluctant to do these days.”
The year is 2030 and America has permanently surrendered itself to gun violence. John McDean is an executive producer of a reality game show called “Vigilance”. In this game show, the purpose is to put shooters into a “game environment” in order to make sure that American citizens always stay alert to domestic and foreign threats. Of course, we all know this will go south. The setting is America but here’s the thing, if you’ve been paying attention to the worldwide news, you’ll know that dystopian future isn’t really a far-fetched concept now. This is why the book was terrifying and powerful to read because there’s always a chance that whatever fucked up things that occurred in this novella happened in the near future.
“The more people were afraid, the more they bought guns. The more guns that were around, the more people tended to use them on each other. The more they used them on each other, the more they were afraid—and so, the more everyone bought guns.”
It’s a vicious cycle of madness and chaos; a cycle that Bennett portrayed greatly in this novella. I don’t have anything else to say here except that Vigilance is a fantastic novella. Bennett really didn’t shy away from injecting the heavy topics that sprawled our current society into the book. I’m a huge fan of Robert Jackson Bennett’s fantasy books; this is the first time I read anything by him outside of his fantasy books and if you’re like me, there’s no need to worry here because Bennett once again displayed his skill as an author to tell a terrific story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a short, terrifyingly relatable, and impactful read.
The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Official release date: January 29th, 2019
You can order the book HERE!