Carbon Run is a mind-catching story. Set in a futuristic, dystopian society, the characters not only deal with poverty, but also an aggressive department of the government named the Bureau of Environmental Security. Usually referred to as the BES, their unlikable employees are often called the Bessies, and are arrogant, judgmental, and unrelenting people. Their job is to locate those who break the laws pertaining to global warning.
Bill Penn and his daughter, Anne, live on a bit of acreage outside of town. In order to support themselves, they sell produce in the market. Anne spends a lot of time in the bird refuge on their property, where she watches over a flock of nesting Magpies for government scientists, as they try to save them from extinction. Tragically, many species have been lost as the warming situation worsens.
On a day that seems as good as any other, tragedy strikes when Bill sets their house on fire, while cooking on a hot plate. They can’t afford a legal stove, hence the hotplate. Bill contacts Anne in the refuge and she calls the fire department, who arrives just in time to see the house collapse and the flames spread to the refuge. As they stand in shock, looking at the ruin that was their home, a BES inspector shows up to arrest Bill for his illegal cooking, which added to global warming and contributed to the Magpie extinction.
When Bill argues with Inspector Kilel, he is informed that Anne could also be arrested, so Bill goes quietly to jail. The judge lets Bill go home, but Kilel secretly keeps him jailed, claiming the judge is too old to make a good decision pertaining to Bill’s situation. He breaks away and – to simplify – heads for the hills. The adventure truly begins with Kilel chasing Bill unrelentingly. Bill knows that she is always just a step behind.
There are many interesting players in this story and my attention was occasionally taken off of Bill. There are the dis-identified who are shunned for breaking the law. They are branded high on the forehead, letting everyone know of their sin. These individuals live the best they can, since employment never comes their way. Sometimes, begging on the street brings them enough to eat. If there is nothing else, piracy, which is really just slavery, will keep them alive. Bill soon finds himself employed by a pirate, who happens to be DNA modified with the look and personality of a tiger, trafficking in crude oil – a serious legal offense due to global warming.
As Kilel chases Bill, she makes time to harass Anne. Eventually, she convinces her that she is the only one who can save Bill from his foolish actions. In an effort to rescue him, Anne joins the chase to capture her father.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Carbon Run is action-packed and the story is full of highs and lows. It follows the lives of more than just Bill and Anne, but the author proves he is up for the challenge of keeping this intriguing storyline moving smoothly. Pirates, BES, and Kilel are not the only vital and interesting characters. Bill’s wife and Anne’s mother plays an important part, and Bill’s long-estranged brother comes on the scene, too. I read this book in two days; it held my attention and I think most readers will definitely enjoy it.
- Genre and general reading age – As I said, this is a dystopian novel. The general reading age is older teens and adults.
- Level of sexuality – It’s not a main interest in the story. In fact, I can say that it is a very lightweight read if you’re looking for hanky-panky.
- Is there graphic language? There is some cussing, but it did not impact the story.
- Did I cry? No, although there are some sad and discouraging lifestyles.
- Did I laugh? No.
- Is this part of a series? Yes, it is book two of the Tales of a Warming Planet.
- Level of character development – The characters are well done and at no time did I think “Gee, this guy needs to grow up.” Nor did I ever find the dialogue lacking in development.
I enjoyed this book so much that I give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ golden stars.