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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
2
Directive 51 (Daybreak Novels)
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change

on 5 May 2011
Directive 51 is in essence an example of that old cautionary tale of being careful for what you wish for packaged as a techno thriller / post apocalypse hybrid set primarily in a near future America where a global non alliance (you'll have to read the book to understand my choice of terminology!) of radical environmentalists, terrorist groups, the disaffected young (and not so young), and others, known collectively as "Daybreakers", who decide to take down "the system" and what happens in the aftermath; in short extreme idealists act like petulant children who want their own way and don't fully think through the consequences until it's way to late. I think the average reader will see many of the probable outcomes before some of the Daybreakers; this is not a critiscism of the writing or the plot, in fact I would argue that it is one of the strengths of the first part of the novel that we the readers can see the consequences but like the "good guys" are unable to alter the outcome.
Being a non American I did not understand the significance of the title but Barnes helpfully provides an explanation; Directive 51 in effect gives a single person, should the US administration fall, absolute power; if I had known that before reading the novel it might have suggested (at least to me) a particular narrative - I'm glad to say that I would have been proven wrong, this is not merely a survivalist's SOP for how to rebuild society in their image though as with all tales set within this genre there has to be an element of that.
There is a large cast of characters whose motivations and actions - particulary in respect to the political protagonists - for the most part ring true - there has to be some concessions for the sake of the plot but these are in the main acceptable because Barnes is trying (and mainly succeeding) to provide several logical and potentially valid viewpoints both by the Daybreakers and the survivors. In conclusion a welcome addition to the pantheon of work that deals with the (possible) "end of the world as we know it".
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on 11 August 2011
I really loved this book, full of those gritty details I crave in an ' End of the world' book' . Starts off before Daybreak Day with all the different characters and groups being introduced, all with their various beliefs and reasons, all the techie stuff I love on how things work or will not work. The book hits Daybreak Day and everything gathers speed like a runaway train, a cascade of things going wrong... Love it love it! If you're a fan of S M Stirling's Dies the Fire series you'll love thi...moreI really loved this book, full of those gritty details I crave in an ' End of the world' book' . Starts off before Daybreak Day with all the different characters and groups being introduced, all with their various beliefs and reasons, all the techie stuff I love on how things work or will not work. The book hits Daybreak Day and everything gathers speed like a runaway train, a cascade of things going wrong... Love it love it! If you're a fan of S M Stirling's Dies the Fire series you'll love this book. Luckily I haven't got to wait long for the 1st sequel, bought both at the same time , can highly recommend Directive 51
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