The sequel to Empire, and in book form the conclusion of the series.
The typification is less pronounced and annoying this time, probably because he didn’t have to shoehorn liberals broadly into secessionists. The book has four major parts.
The first part focuses on the “day to day”, with Cole and Cecily as trusted advisers to President Torrent. It’s pretty short, but establishes that Torrent’s elevation to the Presidency has held, that he worries about politics and election to some degree (though as a heavy favorite). Further, the chapter introduction quotes are now all part of Torrent’s writings. In parallel, Chinma is in Nigeria. He’s patient zero of the sneezing plague, which devastates his whole village. In parallel, the events in Africa spur scenes where Torrent and Cecily discuss Africa policy.
The second part involves Chinma’s adjustment to America, his integration with Malich family, their growing awareness and moral conflict over the right role of Christians in treating the sick (behind the African blockade). Then Cole and his jeesh travel to Africa to combat the governments using the plague as cover for genocide. They encounter foes with the mysterious EMP device that’s a perfect counter to their “bones and noodles” that enhance their abilities. How suspicious…
For a while, both Cecily and Cole are in Nigeria, along with Chinma and her eldest son Mark. They’re hard at work, but the coughing sickness gets them all. While the soldiers are down with the plague, another poor African group, suspiciously armed with the EMPs, hits the base. There is death and tragedy…
From there, the book flows into its fourth and shortest block. Cole has to save the President from a deadly attack, the President admits to taking advantage of the events in the world, but not precipitating most of them. Cole adopts Chinma, Cecily returns to baking cookies, end, credits.
I liked the book for its unconventional focus. While the book begins with politics and coordination against Russia, and ends with an attempted political assassination, in between is filled with a mix of “special forces hooah!” and scenes wrestling with the demands of their faith.
There’s plenty to nitpick, but at a proper reading pace you’ll make it through before they start to concern you. Good enough!