Friday, September 9, 2011

Goodbye to the Assassin

Set in 2045, this is the concluding volume in Robert Ferrigno's Assassin trilogy. A devious and ambitious one hundred and fifty year-old character called the Old One dreams of creating a Muslim Caliphate under his own rule. He's been laboring on the project for years (and through the two previous books in this series, Prayers for the Assassin and Sins of the Assassin). As part of the scheme, years earlier, he planted suitcase nukes in New York, Washington, D.C. and Mecca.

In the aftermath of the attacks, the United States crumbled and was divided, essentially, into two-parts, the Belt, dominated by Christians, and the Republic, dominated by Muslims. As this book opens, both regions are threatened by the powerful Aztlan Empire to the south, which is nibbling away at the former U.S., determined at a minimum to regain the territory that the U.S. annexed from Mexico in the middle of the 19th century.

While the Old One manipulates events from behind the scenes, sowing chaos in a fashion calculated to advance his own ambitions, some strategically placed people in the Republic are developing plans to reunite the Belt and the Republic in the hope of restoring the glory of the former U.S. While the politicians and others maneuver, Rakkim Epps, a moderate Muslim and genetically enhanced warrior fights the evil-doers (as he has in the previous books) and attempts to support all things good and virtuous in a decaying world. Rakkim is married to Sarah, a gifted historian who is key to the reunification plans, but in this book, he is also sorely tempted by Baby, the scheming, voluptuous daughter of the Old One.

Ferrigno has created in these books a chilling vision of the near future and a memorable cast of characters. Readers who find the premise appealing will certainly want to read the books in order, although any one of them could be read as a stand-alone.

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