Blog Tour Book Review – Enemy

Hello, everyone! It’s been months since I participated in a blog tour, and I’m happy to be contributing my review to the tour for Enemy by Kimberly Amato organized by Blackthorn Book Tours. Head below to see more about this interesting dystopian political thriller.

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In this cautionary tale of the decay of democratic systems, author Kimberly Amato delivers the chilling reminder that every generation discards the lessons of history at its own peril – and that of generations to come.

On New Year’s Day 2045, a desperate remnant of the 20-year-old resistance prepares for its final stand against the ruthless tyranny of the new world order. As cells of resistance across the world crumble, this tattered underground – literally, housed in the subterranean tunnels of the New York subway – strikes on two fronts: the prison which conceals a sadistic experimental medical facility and the very seat of power, where the battle reaches its explosive conclusion.

Their leader Ellie Goldman, a renegade agent of the former Multinational Security Council remembers democracy in its last throes. Yet as disillusioned, debased, and desperate – one could argue, insane – as Ellie is, she retains a cache of compassion.

Amato has created a soul-grindingly brutal post-apocalyptic world where everybody is a potential enemy—anybody could turn you in to the authorities. Human life is worthless; women, useless except as receptacles. Skin color is a crime. The prisons are full of thought criminals, people of color, women, and rebels, overseen by guards whose fate has been determined by the state’s assignment testing. Mistrust and division are everywhere, even among the brothers of the resistance, even between the real brothers, Sam, a student dedicated to the resistance, and Tim, a prison guard ensnared in the government’s sadistic machine. As the novel accelerates to its shocking but inevitable conclusion, the brothers act out the timeless struggle between love and so-called “duty”—actually the noose of authoritarianism – as the fate of humanity is decided by one idealistic woman determined to give the world a fresh start.

My Review

***Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours and the author for providing a copy of the book! My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

This book was dark and brutal. It gave a frank look at where the current political upheavals in the United States could lead if faith in our institutions, especially elections, completely erodes. It highlighted the horrors of authoritarianism in graphic detail and showed the importance of remembering one’s history so that it doesn’t repeat itself. In general, it acted as a great warning for everyone to heed, as the current political climate of division, mistrust in elections, book banning, and scaling back rights of particular groups could very easily lead to the horrible future pictured in this book.

The writing overall was good. Once the action got started, the author did a great job of setting a steady pace and describing everything well. At the beginning of the novel, though, the writing was almost entirely dialogue with very little attention paid to description or the setting. It seemed almost like the author was trying to set the stage with the dialogue rather than just describing what was going on, and it felt slow and a bit unwieldy at times. Approximately a quarter of the way through the book, the plot started moving forward, and after that I didn’t want to put the book down.

The politics of the book was a bit underwhelming. I went into this with excitement over the political thriller aspect of the narrative, but the politics didn’t really make sense to me. The setup of the leadership structure just seemed odd, and the detail of how the government worked and how it shifted into authoritarianism was lacking.

I enjoyed each of the main characters. Each of the POVs brought something unique to the narrative. However, I think there might have been too many main characters for the length of this book. I liked them all, but I didn’t really feel like I got to know most of them that well. The only characters I developed an emotional connection to were Sam and Tim. They were truly the heart of this story, and the decisions Tim had to make about their family absolutely broke my heart. I would have liked to spend more time with them and the other characters, as well, but the fast pace and large cast didn’t really allow for it.

The ending completely took me by surprise. Never, not once, did I expect it to end up that way. Although, in retrospect, the signs were definitely there. So, kudos to the author for the brilliant misdirection. The ending also set me thinking about an interesting question, as well. Are humans destined to always fracture into groups and fight each other for dominance? Or can we overcome our baser instincts to build a truly equitable society that respects the rights of all?

Overall, this was a bleak look into the potential future of mankind. Hopefully, we can avoid the horrors detailed in this story, but only time will tell. As for the story, I enjoyed it for what it was even if it wasn’t perfectly executed, and I think most people who enjoy dystopian stories rooted in current politics might like it. Therefore, I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Kimberly Amato is the author of the best-selling Jasmine Steele Mystery series. She is also a podcaster (Forever Fangirls and Into the Halo) and filmmaker. Among her several film projects, the teleplay Party Girl, which she co-wrote and starred in, has accorded her the most honors, including The Golden Ace Award and the Aloha Accolade for Excellence in Filmmaking from the Honolulu Film Awards.

Amato holds a BA in Psychology from Hofstra University and an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is currently working on several more books and future Steele Series installments.

Kimberly hails from the great state of New York, where she currently lives with her wife.

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