cover image Consequence


Steve Masover. Salted Rose, $15 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-0-9864263-0-8

Masover’s engaging, timely debut novel is about the line between activism and extremism. A member of a politically engaged collective living in San Francisco, Christopher Kalman is approached online by a mysterious figure he calls Chagall to write a manifesto to be released following an unknown eco-sabotage action against genetically modified foods. Eager to contribute more to the cause but suspicious, Chris begins work while helping the collective with a local civil disobedience stunt protesting GMOs. He also juggles a love interest as well as his father and brother, who disapprove of Chris’s political stances. Meanwhile, Chagall, with the assistance of another radical, begins work on his planned assault, which will have major repercussions for Chris and his group. The novel captures the world of radical protestors, with details on encryption, computer hacking, and infiltrating targets, as well as the more mundane tasks of traditional activism, such as working out logistics and managing the media; descriptions of both feel authentic. Chris and his friends thoughtfully consider their work, discussing the philosophy of protest movements, even as they wonder if they make a difference. Several absorbing subplots revolve around the struggles of other group members, including one released from a Mexican prison. This is a fast-paced and well-plotted literary thriller, examining the unforeseen ramifications of well-intentioned actions. (BookLife)