By the fall of 2016, the country is already on the verge of financial collapse, despite the most aggressive actions conceivable by the Federal Reserve. When foreign debt-holders suddenly dump their debt in an act of aggression against the United States, hyper-inflation ensues, bringing the government to its knees.
Review by Courtney
The United States is on the verge of financial collapse. In an act of economic terrorism, foreign debt-holders begin to dump the United States’ debt back onto the U.S. market. Citizens are living in survival mode, quickly losing hope in the U.S. Government. With hyperinflation, nothing is affordable. Riots and chaos ensue on the streets while the country comes crashing down.
Jeff Schlaman’s Fiat is a horrifying glimpse at a very realistic possibility for the future of the United States. Now, I normally wouldn’t read something in this genre. I read smut, romance novels or as my sister calls it “pictureless-porn.” For the most part my husband keeps me informed on current events and what’s going on in our country and other countries, I in turn, keep him informed on love triangles. However, I was intrigued by the concept of this story. Our country has been in a bad position for too long now and the premise of Fiat did interest me. With that said, I truly loved this book. In the beginning, the discussions of the stock markets, investment banking terms and the financial aspects of the country, were a bit overwhelming for me. It’s just not my cup of tea, but as the story pressed on it honestly captivated me and I couldn’t put it down.
Fiat is written in a 3rd person narrative following a vast array of characters as they maneuver through the U.S. and begin to unravel what is truly happening to their country. Even though the story takes place two years in the future, the author continues to use current trends, pop culture and also past events from the United States. I felt these references helped the reader relate more to the story. In the beginning of chapters he uses examples of possible commentary as would be seen on social media outlets, such as Twitter. Using hash tags and trending topics gave more of a glimpse of what would be going on in the world vs. just with the characters in the story if this particular situation were to occur. There are also small references to the Disney Channel show “Jessie” along with the movies Kill Bill and events like the Boston Marathon Bombings and the Columbine Shootings. I understand these, I remember these happening so I was able to relate to or visually see them as I read it and it made the story easier to read even if it didn’t have any huge significance to the plot.
The reader follows Chris McLeod the true personification of greed and the pursuit of power. As the Chairman of the Federal Reserve during the collapse of the economy, McLeod forms a scheme to restore the nations and foreign countries faith in the US Government and the Federal Reserve. In the other corner, we find Uncle Al James, the man who everyone thought was crazy with his conspiracy theories, but in this instance was correct and prepared. Uncle Al’s compound, Tessa’s 53, is the ultimate example of preparedness and he has made sure to help whoever wants to be there. His nephew Steve Faulk finds his way there through a detailed and covert line of communication. An investment banker, Steve finds himself on the wrong side of the law after a set-up, leaving him running for his crazy Uncle Al’s compound. Mary Smart is a single mom of four. Her husband walked away when the economy began to fall apart. She sells off whatever she can to survive, trying to create normalcy for her kids. However, when a tornado hits, Mary packs up and also begins heading towards Uncle Al’s compound. On her way her car runs out of gas. I only mention this part, because it was a minor detail that was so symbolic of the Great Depression, such a huge event in our history. She is stuck in the middle of nowhere, she can’t get gas anywhere so she has to unload her kids and start walking. Along the way she meets Sophia, a tech genius, who before the collapse had a successful startup. They travel together, in the process building a strong friendship, until they reach Tessa’s 53.
Fiat is storytelling at its best, even if there is an aspect of realism. It is detailed and symbolic of what is going on in our society and could happen to our nation, the need for power vs. the need to survive. We see the need for power and influence through Chris McLeod, Uncle Al and The One World Church. While the other characters just want the simplicity of living in a community that is led honestly and having their families survive through the power struggle of men who just always want more. I loved this book, I can’t wait for the next one and I highly recommend it! I give Fiat 5 books.
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