Kamas, Utah, 2024. America has become a totalitarian dystopia after the Unionist Party’s rise to power. The American West contains vast Restricted Zones dotted with ghost towns, scattered military garrisons and corrective labor camps where the regime disposes of its real and suspected enemies.
A former businessman from Pittsburgh, Paul Wagner, arrives at a labor camp in Utah’s Kamas Valley. He is unaware that his eleven-year-old daughter, Claire, has set off to Utah to find him. By an odd quirk of fate, Claire has traveled on the same train that carried her father into internal exile.
Only after Wagner has renounced all hope of survival, cast his lot with anti-regime hard-liners and joined them in an unprecedented and suicidal revolt does he discover that Claire has become a servant in the home of the camp’s Deputy Warden. Wagner is torn between his devotion to family and loyalty to his fellow rebels. On the eve of an armored assault intended to crush the revolt, he faces an agonizing choice between a hero’s death and a coward’s freedom.
Forty Days at Kamas is a terrifying novel set in a near dystopian future in which a totalitarian Government has taken over and wow, what a book! Preston Fleming is an exceptional author, and I know this because Forty Days at Kamas is the third book I have read that is written by Fleming. The first book of Fleming’s I read was Maid of Baikal, a historical fiction novel that informed as well as entertained me and the second book was called Dynamite Fishermen which was an action-packed novel that made me feel as if my heart was in my mouth from start to finish. Fleming is a masterful storyteller, and so when I started to read Forty Days at Kamas, I was excited. The description of Forty Days at Kamas intrigued me, and I was excited to immerse myself in the story thanks to the unique premise and believable dystopian future that is in no way ridiculous. The events throughout Forty Days at Kamas could one day happen, and that is why I was excited to get lost in the book, but a part of me was terrified!
Upon reading Forty Days at Kamas I knew right away that this was going to be a novel I would love, I admit that I was excited to read the book because I love Fleming’s literature but also because the book on Amazon has over 500 positive reviews! Yes book lovers, Fleming is a best seller. The high rating of the book and the volume of reviews excited me but it also made my expectations really high! That is why a part of me at first was hesitant to fully immerse myself but as the chapters continued I soon realized why Fleming has all those fantastic reviews and its because Forty Days at Kamas is exceptional!
Forty Days at Kamas is a novel set in the near future in which a totalitarian type of Government has taken over in the year 2024. The definition of totalitarian is ‘a system of Government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state,’ and this is prominent in Forty Days at Kamas. However, Forty Days at Kamas takes this style of Government to the extreme because in the novel labor camps are prominent and one of them holds up to 8000 prisoners who are made up of people from all walks of life such as the military, lawyers and doctors and so much more.
The reader will be introduced to the protagonist of the novel called Paul Wagner, Paul has had his life stolen from him thanks to the new Government that has taken over. At the labor camp prisoners are subjected to the worst kind of treatment involving brutality and daily beatings. Paul, despite his sadness at being ripped away from his family, is relieved that they are ok, but what Paul at first does not know is that they are not and they too are in trouble. Paul’s oldest daughter however is the only one who was able to evade the capture, and she follows Paul to try, and rescue him. The daughter does this by securing a job with the Warden of the labor camp. Paul however does not know this and so he decides to risk everything to stop the brutality by teaming up with a group of rebels. What follows is an emotive, thrilling and thought-provoking journey that will shock but enthrall readers.
The story of Forty Days at Kamas is intense but never oppressively dark that it is a struggle to read. Instead, the horrific moments are laced with hope, and the daughter’s journey will inspire the reader with hope and the motivation to keep reading despite the terrifying events that unfold throughout the book. What I love about Fleming’s literature is that his work is highly original; each book I have read by Fleming has been entirely different from the last, and this shows us readers that Fleming is a versatile author who knows who knows how to skip to different genres and still write extraordinary stories. Dystopian novels for me are my favorite go to read, especially when they are believable but sadly many dystopian stories fall short thanks to the lack of imagination or the similarity between other stories. Forty Days at Kamas, however, is an incredibly original and an unpredictable story that does some resemble any other dystopian book I know or have read and so I think we need to appreciate how rare this is and applaud Preston for his phenomenal talent!
Preston Fleming is a remarkable author who knows how to quickly grab his readers attention from the first page. Fleming instead of writing a long build-up thrusts his reader into the heart of the story straight away so that the reader is immersed and captivated by the story quickly. I am impressed by Fleming’s ability and decision to place the reader in the thick of the drama early on because sometimes a long build-up can kill the story before it has even started, so I am impressed with Fleming for his excellent plot device.
Overall Forty Days at Kamas is a chilling, thought-provoking and captivating story that will easily entertain readers for many days and nights so I, of course, have to award the thrilling book five stars! If you are a reader who loves dystopian novels but find they are all similar, then I challenge you to read Forty Days at Kamas because it will remind you that there are fantastic dystopian novels out there still that are original and highly entertaining!
Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much, I love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please comment below and let me know your thoughts on Forty Days at Kamas. Do you see yourself reading this book? Do you love the genre? Please let me know your brilliant thoughts below and I will be sure to comment back. Thank you so much again for reading!
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