Apr 112011

The End of Marking Time by CJ West
Rating: 5/5
Source: Copy from author
Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Author’s website

Michael is a robber who breaks into houses, and has never been caught. When he is finally caught, he is involved in a automobile accident on the way to prison and is left unconscious for four years. During that time, the entire legal system changes. Incarceration is declared cruel, and all felons are freed. Chaos ensues, but by the time Michael wakes up, order has been installed through reeducation programs. Michael must work his way through it, but will he survive the new rules?

This is an adult dystopian story with an added mystery element. The story opens with Michael telling his story to an unknown jury. The whole book is this telling, until it reaches the current moment.

I found the story to be very original and fascinating. Michael is a career criminal who can hardly believe his luck that prison is no longer used. He has a hard time grasping the new rules, but you can easily follow along his progression in understanding. I found myself understanding some of the rules before he did, but others threw me for a loop.

And the ending! Oh my. I did not see it coming. But it fit, and was amazing.

The only part I found unrealistic is the time that it took for the new system to come into being. I can totally see the changes occuring in real life, just not as quickly as in the book. Michael was only unconscious for four years. I doubt that the changes could have been brought up for the first time, discussed, agreed upon, implemented, and fine-tuned all within four years. But other than that, it was very scary because it was quite logical.

If you’re interested in reading this book, the author is still giving away free eBook versions on his website. All you need to do is go there and request it.

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