Review of Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett

Updated: Jul 6, 2019


Vigilance tries to be a moralistic science fiction story in the vein of movies like The Purge and The Running Man, but ultimately does not have much going for it.

First off, let me state that I am liberal and, like anyone with a working brain, I think Trump is one of the worst things that could be inflicted on the world. Why is this important? Because Vigilance takes all the fears that liberals have, turns the dial to 11, fills the story with a number of Trumpisms and tries to the do same thing as either of the afore mentioned movies did or like so many dystopian books have done before. i.e. sell the idea American has failed in all the ways liberals think it will – xenophobia, guns, China etc. I actually got a bit sick of it since the author seemed to be focusing more on this idea of a Republican dystopia than an original story.

The science fiction aspects of the story were okayish. The author has tried to foresee what will happen in 10-20 years from now using the current trends as a baseline, which is fine. But there is one glaring error- at least from my pedantic point of view – malls are dying across the wold but somehow, the author thinks malls are still a social focal point in the future. But that’s just nitpicking because there are bigger issues with the book mentioned before.

Now that I think about it, the writing style is evocative of The Running Man book. There are similar social commentaries except that the protagonist characters are way different.

So, in conclusion, the book is just run of the mill. Maybe a filler for a short flight.

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