cover image U.S.S.A. #1

U.S.S.A. #1

Tom De Haven. Avon Books, $2.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-380-75180-8

In 1996, Eddie hates the changes that have taken place in his country since the Joint Chiefs of Staff dumped the U.S. president and the military took control of the newly named United Secure States of America. Liberal teachers are replaced by spies; rock concerts are illegal and recordings of certain groups are banned during a period of ""Moral Renewal.'' Explosive electronic sparrows hover in the branches and high wires, photographing illegal activities and attacking people on the command of the New Cops. Then Eddie's girlfriend is threatened and he meets others who are part of an unorganized resistanceand he decides to fight. This bleak, futuristic scenario has been done and overdone in books, films and TV; here it's reduced to simplistic, sarcastic pulp. Eddie's narration reads like John Wayne talking with a bullet clenched between the teeth. Right wing or left wing, the political lines are blurred and will probably offend or confuse everyone. And readers looking for action and adventure best look elsewherethis one is talk, talk, talk. (12-up)