The Lesser Evil

Fiction - Dystopia
202 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Daniel Settanni is a tech entrepreneur with a background in software development, security, and information technology.

His interests include politics, religion, and technology, all of which are bound to show up in his writing in one way or another. Early in life, he was inspired by works such as Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Dystopian fiction continues to be his favorite genre and the focus of many of his works.

Daniel lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Daniel Settanni writes a transcendental thriller in The Lesser Evil. It’s about to become a whole new world! Joss Bishop is about to live out the unimaginable. The world has become plagued by drought. Walls have been erected to keep the refugees out. However, there are an elite few who seem unscathed by the world’s harsh conditions. As the daughter of a wealthy businessman and an influential politician, Joss remains one of the fortunate. Until agents break into her house and abduct her fiancé, Alex. Alex is accused of terrorism. Within hours she is told her father is dead. The insanity begins. Looking for a rhyme or reason for these bizarre circumstances, Joss discovers more than she could ever fathom. Overnight, Joss becomes ridiculously affluent and her father’s successor. Andrew Bishop has created the unheard of, the unbelievable, and she has inherited it. Joss begins to live a dream that quickly turns into a nightmare. Jocelyn Bishop holds the key to the future; she is the “last best chance” for humanity.

The Lesser Evil by Daniel Settanni explodes into action. Settanni pens a sensational narrative, intertwining the influential powers of money, military, politics and science. The chapters are short, creating fast paced action. Keeping the suspense alive, Settanni gradually interlocks the pieces of the puzzling plot. The cast of characters rebounds well against each other. They are interesting - some are peculiar and elusive, a few are formidably eerie, while others are victims of circumstance. However, the narrative’s propulsion is directly related to the heroine’s morphing character. The descriptions are sensory, chilling and hauntingly imaginative. Although the setting depicts overcrowding, despair and the squalor of mankind, the true conflict lies within the realm of morality. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Creating artificial intelligence in the likeness of man has repercussions. Humanity is flawed; no one plays God and gets away with it. As the abstract plot comes to a close, it recoils - there is no resolution. The reader is left dangling in suspense; the story ends but it is far from over.

Kayti Nika Raet

The first in a series, The Lesser Evil by Daniel Settanni is set in a dystopian America, ravaged by a severe ongoing drought and civil war. Decades later, the rest of humanity scratches out a mean and meager existence in the arid environment, with those lucky enough to be on the right side of the border allowed to live in relative comfort while the rest have to contend with a dwindling water supply. Despite the increasing restrictions for those living inside the wall, Jocelyn Bishop still counts herself as one of the lucky ones. But even though she is the daughter of a high-ranking government official and an innovative tech mogul, her status is no match for a brutal visit from a clandestine band of corrupt agents. She barely escapes, but a single clue soon leads Jocelyn to a secret organization and the keys to her father's legacy.

The Lesser Evil by Daniel Settanni is a fast paced, action packed novel that nonetheless takes the time to tackle questions about morality and the nature of humanity. Jocelyn is a compelling character who wrestles with each new bit of information that forces her to reevaluate what she thought she knew. While The Lesser Evil hops into the heads of several characters, Jocelyn's is always the main focus and her narrative voice is strong throughout. Her character far outpaced the others, who sometimes felt dropped as the story progressed. Still, Settanni manages to craft a smart, tightly woven dystopian thriller with a strong female main character. I could barely turn the pages fast enough! It also hints at a larger, far reaching masterpiece.

Ruffina Oserio

In a dying world, already ravaged by war and drought, the future lies in the hands of a young woman. The Lesser Evil by Daniel Settanni has a riveting dystopian setting and a powerful plot, featuring a virus and intrigue at the highest level. Jocelyn, popularly known as Joss, is a brilliant humanitarian who puts aside her father’s wealth and the security that comes from her mother’s high-powered political position to devote her time to helping the underprivileged in a world that is sinking. Then things change drastically when she receives a visit from government agents and when she reads a letter addressed to her by her father, asking her to take over the foundation and its mission. Only she can make a decision that will save the world or plunge it into more misery.

The Lesser Evil was enjoyable. I was transported into a strange and dangerous world that felt familiar because of the author’s storytelling skills. I love books that feature great writing, intricate plot lines, a great voice, and memorable characters, and Daniel Settanni offered me just that. The opening is compelling and, once started, it becomes impossible to put the book down. Joss is an awesome character. I enjoyed the way the author creates her relationship with her father. They are estranged, but then there is an undeniable link between the two. The plot is original and it features great conflict and I enjoyed the fact that the conflict is introduced in the very opening lines of the story. The reader is left in no doubt that they will be dealing with something big. This is the kind of book I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to fans of dystopia, those who love high-scale conflict, drama and intrigue.

Divine Zape

In The Lesser Evil by Daniel Settanni, the world as we know it has been ravaged by drought and the Great War, and humans suffer a lot of restrictions. There is much suffering for the masses, but Jocelyn “Joss” has a wealthy father, “a wealthy businessman, and her mother a high-powered politician. Joss could’ve easily lived in luxury, even during these times of scarcity, but she chose to spurn the benefits of her good fortune. The few privileges she embraced, she used to help those the country had turned their backs on.” Things change for her when she gets a visit from government agents and this visit could determine the future of humankind. She learns the secrets about her estranged father’s foundation and his vision of giving the world a chance of survival. Can she continue the work her father started with the artificial creations—Namaah, Victor Yates and Charles Adams?

Daniel Settanni’s novel is a spellbinding read with awesome characters like Alex and Jocelyn “Joss,” a story with a very complex conflict. It starts with a bang, in the heart of a very controversial situation and action. It starts with a virus! The action is quickly fueled by the conflict, which escalates to a very high speed. There is no way the reader can resist this story. The writing is superb and it offers descriptions that help the reader create a vivid picture of what is taking place. The writing features very natural-sounding and compelling conversations that are conflict and plot-driven. The Lesser Evil will entertain you, tease you, and have you asking serious questions about mankind’s destiny. It will force you to watch each step the protagonist takes, unveiling clues as it develops. I found it to be a very satisfying read with an absorbing, irresistible setting and plot.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Joss has no idea what she’s gotten herself into when she learns that the father she barely knew left her an entire foundation tasked with saving the world. But when she meets Namaah, she’s certain they’re on the right track to do just that with their alternate universe. But what does she really know about Namaah and the other Three? What does she know about their mission and what they will do in order to achieve their own ends? For that matter, what does she even know about their ends? It’s all going to come out soon as Joss fights to save the man she loves and the rest of the world in The Lesser Evil by Daniel Settanni.

With this book you’re not going to have a problem getting into the story. It’s all about the end of the world and what anyone will stop at (or won’t) in order to save their own lives. Joss, her mother, Alex, and even The Three are intriguing characters that you want to learn more about. This is one book that you’re definitely not going to want to put down. Everyone is a little bit different with characters that definitely represent all of us as we would be trying to cope with the idea of a society that’s on the verge of collapse. It’s something I’m going to be watching for in the future because I think there will be another book after this one to continue the story; The Lesser Evil by Daniel Settanni is definitely not over.