cover image Wake of War

Wake of War

Zac Topping. Forge, $26.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-81497-5

Topping’s exceptional debut, a near-future military action thriller, extrapolates from today’s dysfunctional political climate. In 2037, the armed forces of the U.S. government, which is struggling with such problems as devastatingly high inflation, are pitted against the Revolutionist Front. Led by “the charismatic and completely psychotic” Joseph Graham, this rebel army holds the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City. U.S. Army Specialist James Oliver Trent, who joined the military so he could get a university scholarship, expected to serve in a supply unit, but after he breaks a serious regulation, he’s assigned to an infantry unit. Soon he’s headed into combat in Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, Sam Cross, a 19-year-old girl from Texas, has emerged from the ranks of the Revolutionist Front as a sniper of legendary proportions. Readers can rest assured that Trent and Cross will eventually meet. Topping, a U.S. Army veteran, pays attention to moral issues while taking care not to overly demonize either side, but it’s the heroic characters and meticulously rendered battle scenes that make this a standout. This is a must for fans of the genre. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (July)