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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Borderlands: A Time To Choose is a work in the speculative fiction genre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author S. Christopher Michaels. Set in a vision of the not so distant future in which the political and social infrastructures of the United States have been swept away by the divisions amongst the people, a pair of ranchers seek to survive and earn a living by selling their cattle across state lines. But to travel through this America is to walk through a minefield of economic hardship, deadly politics, and a new social order of suffering to survive, ready to explode.
There was something about the potential accuracy of this novel’s depiction of America in three years' time that made me wonder if the author had missed a trick by not marketing this book as a horror title. Often in works of speculative fiction, the author takes an idea or two about where the world could be one day and spins a whole fantasy from it, but author S. Christopher Michaels is clearly an astute observer of the world and has created a highly realistic potential future riddled with the outcome of present-day issues going unresolved. The lead characters of ranchers Chris and Roy are very well defined and manage to avoid being two-dimensional representations of a particular ideology. Instead, they are nuanced characters who explore the issues and conflicts they are presented with as real people would if put into that situation. The Borderlands is an excellent book that demonstrates the potential for speculative fiction to explore the issues of the day whilst keeping the fantasy world feeling very grounded within our own current struggles.