Tropic of Kansas by Christopher Brown
eBook review; 480 pages
Tropic of Kansas by Christopher Brown is a highly recommended
dystopian/political satire set in the alternate reality of a future,
Sig was an illegal from the USA hiding in Canada, until he was caught
and sent back over the border wall into the area that was once
Minnesota. Now the Midwest is just part of a wasteland of warring
factions and provincial militia groups. This area has been dubbed The
Tropic of Kansas and is known for the third world lawlessness that
thrives there and the various greedy leaders who control parts of it.
Sig, the son of political dissidents, is a survivor and escape artist.
He essentially trusts no one. He's difficult to keep as a prisoner
because he will find a way to escape. He will also find a way to
Tania was once Sig's foster sister. Sig's mother dropped him off at her
house for Tania's mother to care for when her arrest was imminent. Tania
is now a government investigator. She got into a little trouble in
Washington D.C. and is now looking for Sig to rectify her mistake and to
try to get her own mother free from imprisonment. When Tanis goes
searching for Sig, she comes to terms with her own past and perhaps the
direction of her future.
Chapters alternate between Tania and Sig. You'll be rooting for Sig as
he manages to escape from one predicament, betrayal, and impressionist
after another. You'll also be hoping Tania sees the light, and the
corruption of the government, and finds Sig along with a new goal for
Brown takes present ideological differences, technology, factions, and
widely different beliefs among citizens in the USA today and escalates
all of it into a dystopian setting while setting his characters into
this action packed satire. It's a wild ride through politics, drones,
guns, and bullies. It's also an easy to read novel, with short chapters
that avoid much detailed descriptions of settings or other characters.
This is entertaining - certainly a good airplane book. It is worth
noting that you should anticipate that Brown will hit you over the head
with pc politics along with the expectation that you will naturally
believe all that he believes. But, since this is also set in an
alternate reality USA, it is much easier to just go with the flow and
accept any precautionary statements that might be leached out of the
My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.