on May 5, 2015 :
This first time novel is a fast paced romantic suspense with complicated twists and turns that keep the reader fully engaged. You will not be disappointed if you are wanting an exciting futuristic post industrial western. It is set in a devolved New Mexican independent fascist state of horse driven transportation. While telling a riveting story, the nature of political power and the roles ordinary humans play or don't in that power is explored along with the roles energy play in our lives and it's changing forms relevant to our current energy situation play out in this must read novel. My only qualms with the self published novel is a need for good editing to clean up some largely grammatical loose ends.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on May 2, 2015 :
With The Seventh Star, new author Charles Dunn takes us on a thrilling ride. His premise is intriguing from the get-go: set in the mid-2000s, the world’s oil supply has been totally decimated. The United States is in chaos, and in fact, the federal government no longer stands. Each state is its own kingdom. New Mexico, where the tale is set, is a totalitarian state ruled by a dictator and enemies with neighboring Texas, which is totally bankrupt and longing for the neighboring state to make alliance and save the Texas people. In this mix lives Dunn’s protagonist Hub Johnson, a horse breeder, who makes a decent living, for with no oil comes no gasoline, so there are no vehicles with combustible engines. Lest you question why there are no electric cars, Dunn eventually explains that, and if you think about it, generating electricity via sun and wind power is wonderful, but a sufficient supply of power would never be accumulated. But I digress. Johnson is apolitical, content to sell his horses to the government. But when an old love comes back into his life, his world is torn asunder. We learn that he suffers from a severe childhood trauma, and that, coupled with the plight his old flame is thrust into, Hub must become politically active. This novel is chock full of everything that makes a good yarn spin. It has love, murder, treachery, a dictator, an even worse sadistic villain, and horses. Yes, Dunn is well-versed in horses, and his details about a horse-driven culture are fascinating. You know you are in the 21st century, but you feel you are watching an old-timey western unfold, with all its horses and gunplay and its good man/good woman love. Dunn is an accomplished writer. He fleshes out his characters with plenty of juicy details; he describes his settings skillfully and evocatively. And he makes his point. His message hearkens all the way back to the Middle Ages when the Church, the ruling power, kept the people ignorant so they wouldn’t rebel. That’s exactly what the government portrayed here is doing, and we see firsthand how that impacts a modern world. As a reader, I’m not sure I was won over by the ending, but in life, endings are often not what we wish, they are what happen. So I have no reason to quibble. And I have no qualms about recommending this novel. The Seventh Star is a rollicking, cautionary tale, and it deserves to be read. Bravo Charles Dunn!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)