The Truth Against The World, a review by Joanna

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The Truth Against The World

David Corbett

390 pages

Published on May 26th, 2023

Swell Media


Iโ€™ve been wondering when I would meet a contender for My Book of The Year – not many have moved me in the first half, but at last hereโ€™s one. This is an ingenious blend of genres – part quest fantasy, part futuristic dystopian thriller, with a load of Celtic mythology thrown in. I donโ€™t often read ARCs from new authors these days, but received an invitation from the publisher to download this, and was seduced by the beautiful cover and intriguing synopsis – Iโ€™m very glad I decided to check it out.

In Near Future America, society is crumbling as powerful factions pit ordinary people against one another. Shane Riordan is an Irish soldier with an unusual past, who is on a mission to protect his young friend Georgie. She suffered a nervous breakdown when her college professor lover plagiarised the book she created for him out of Shaneโ€™s folk stories, which became an international bestseller and led to a hugely popular video game, which is now being used to recruit players to Alt Right causes. Breaking her out of captivity in a psychiatric institution, he agrees to escort her on a journey to the other side of the country to confront her ex and reclaim her art, but with unknown enemies hunting them, will Shaneโ€™s warrior skills be enough?
I donโ€™t know much about Irish history and legends, but this cleverly blends them into an exciting adventure story with two very sympathetic lead characters whose unbreakable bond of friendship happily remains platonic. The world building was believable enough to be frightening – the breakdown of law, politics driven by religious fundamentalists, brainwashing of the masses by secret corporate-funded manipulators – this is exactly where the US is heading, and the various technological advances suggest that itโ€™s only set a decade or less into the future. Itโ€™s grim, with some brutal and sometimes gory violence, but not actually depressing, with some wonderful minor characters who help our heroes on their way, and I liked the unexpected ending. My only complaint is the present tense throughout: itโ€™s rare for me to give 5 stars in this case but Iโ€™m making an exception because the storytelling is just that good. Thanks to NetGalley and Swell Media for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily.

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