This novel reflects the War on Terror that America started following the attacks that took place on Tuesday September 11th 2001. The central character throughout this novel is the American Vice President who does all he can to achieve his aims. The dates, names and places have been changed from the history books to allow the author the scope to write a fictional read that reflects the attitudes and moods of the times following the 9/11 attacks.
I found The American Crusade an interesting read as it covered events in living memory. All those news reports about the Middle East and America’s response came flooding back to me. Throughout this novel I kept thinking “Yes, I remember that bit”. The problem is that readers will remember the past, so this novel fails to give them anything new. It is an old story with dates, names and places changed.
I liked how this novel explored a conspiracy about 9/11 and the whole sorry saga of intelligence gathering and analysis. I found the tales about the behind the scenes workings of American politics enlightening. I loved the highlighting of American attitudes towards religion and sexuality. I enjoyed reading the snappy dialogue between the characters and the ability for the author to poke fun at former American politicians. The humour within The American Crusade does travel quite well across the pond and will raise many a chuckle from British readers like myself.
I did not like the short chapters that were devoted to the Fourth Crusade in the Middle East that took place in the Thirteenth Century. Okay, author Mark Spivak reminds us of that ever-vital adage: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” but I found those chapters tiresome. I accept that Mark was drawing parallels with the past but reading a memoir from the 13th century was an absolute bore. Thankfully although America followed Russia in making similar mistakes in Afghanistan, Mark did not bore the reader with a history of those times. I feel that those chapters could have been left out of this novel without taking anything away from the enjoyment or plot of this story.
I found The American Crusade to be an easy to follow read in the same way that we watch television chat shows. I feel that this novel is average in it’s entertainment value and is an okay read that gets 3 stars from me.
Thanks to the author and the TCK Publishing for giving me a copy of this book on the understanding that I provide an honest review.