Author’s note: This article originally appeared on Online Book Club using my pen name as Rinoa469.
Going Gone by Abraham Lopez is an anthology, a set of 12 different stories, which pictures a domino-effect destruction of a country like the United States and the American society as a whole.
The first “chapter” tells about the assassination of a well-loved Prime Minister who could have united the Middle East countries. His assassin, who has connections with the United States NSA, also gets killed in the end.
This first story becomes the reference point of the second one about a retired NSA director who realizes the consequences of the assassination and fears for his family’s future. The next stories establish the foundation of the chaos and culminate with an explanation of a computer program followed by its aftermath.
Although the table of contents shows a list of titled “chapters”, there is no obvious indication that this is an anthology. It was in the third “chapter” that I realized the “anthology” set up, using the previous story as a reference point. I couldn’t find a main character to hold on to in my reading journey.
The only common thing that holds these twelve stories up is the very thin thread about the assassination. The whole becomes episodic, just like a TV series but without a main character. Obviously, this is more plot-driven than character-driven because the author tries to show the domino-effect from the assassination to the dystopian future of America.
As a reader, I felt I was left alone to figure things out on my own without a main character to relate to. I was about to hold on to a character only to die in the end of the story.
Although the author has a good way to present his characters with actions, it lacks proper character introduction at the start which confuse the readers. For example, in the first few paragraphs, I started asking, “Who is Orca?” or “Who is Squaw?” After a few paragraphs, I realize, “Oh, Orca is a dog.” “Oh, Squaw is a horse.”
I’m going to rate this as 2 out of 5 stars because although the elements of excitement are there, my attention waned while reading it. Also, I saw in one chapter the inconsistency of the verb tense. The author wrote in the present tense rather than in the past tense while telling a story. I also saw a few misspellings. However, I see a promise in the dystopian premise, if only the author could strengthen the links and provide a smooth transition between each story.