The Patriot’s Grill

Fiction - Science Fiction
326 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When Steven Day was a boy in early grade school, he wrote a poem:

When I went a fishing,
The waves were a swishing.
I threw out my hook,
While my father read a book.

I felt a great tug,
Much too big for a bug.
I said get the pail,
I got me a whale.

Thus was his literary destiny written into the stars.

He became a lawyer. Actually, a fairly successful one.

But every lawyer wants to be a novelist. And so, years later, he wrote “The Patriot’s Grill.”

Sadly, it contains no poetry.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Patriot’s Grill is a work of fiction in the action, science fiction, and thriller sub-genres, and was penned by author Steven Day. Suitable for mature audiences and containing some minimal scenes of moderate violence, this exciting futuristic thriller novel is set in the not so distant year of 2099, where America has devolved into a dystopian dictatorship and democracy is a long-forgotten word. We meet protagonist Joe Carlton, leading a mundane life as a bartender at the titular Patriot’s Grill, and go with him on an eye-opening journey to the true meaning of liberty when a chance encounters changes his life forever.

Author Steven Day has crafted a high relatable work of speculative science fiction and dystopian drama which has its feet in the future, but an eye firmly turned back to contemporary times. Witty, slick, and filled with intrigue and thought-provoking moments, this is a plot that encourages us to really get to know the dark realities of where our own future could be headed in America and other nations the world over. I enjoyed Joe as a refreshing narrator deeply entrenched in his broken society, a blank canvas for psychological discovery and rebellion against dangerous forces as the plot progresses. Everything in the world-building of this dark vision of 2099 rings the alarm bells for the agenda of certain parties in our current society, which overall makes The Patriot’s Grill a brilliantly penned cautionary tale, and a highly recommended read for political thriller fans everywhere.

Asher Syed

The Patriot’s Grill by Steven Day is a futuristic novel of an America under a new form of government. The setting is far enough in the future that nobody living can comprehend a past that included genuine freedom, except for one elderly man who totters in to have a beer and a conversation with bartender Joe Carlton at The Patriot's Grill. What the man speaks of is initially brushed off, but between flashbacks of his youth that give us insight into Joe's own upbringing, he begins to listen with interest to the old man. When a tragedy occurs that Joe is responsible for, he is thrust into the limelight whether he likes it or not and whether he wants it or not. The stage is set for a new kind of revolution, lead by nobody but an average Joe.

The Patriot's Grill is a fantastic novel about a landscape wholly unfamiliar on American soil but spun into reality through the writing of Steven Day. Joe's character arc drives the story with even more tenacity than the plot itself, allowing us to witness how an acerbic man who doesn't give a crap about anyone or anything grows into himself and his role. I loved the underground initiative of a rebellion that is so low-key that even the government they're rebelling against doesn't know about it—and the government knows everything. There is a moment where Joe is faced with an impossible choice and the narrative that Day uses as Joe contemplates this horrible conundrum is brilliant, as is the dialogue as it is argued among those closest to him. There are flickers of what conversations may have occurred in the lead-up to the Civil War. Civilians who wanted nothing to do with it were pulled into a war they didn't want because it literally raged on in their backyards. No doubt readers will make other parallels to the potential for authoritarian regimes today, but on this occasion, I'll reserve those parallels for them and tell you now: this is a book worth reading.

Vincent Dublado

Stven Day’s The Patriot’s Grill is a cautionary tale of futuristic America eroding from an unjust political system. In the year 2099, America has entered a dictatorial rule that is unopposed for 70 years, and the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are fading into obscurity. Joe Carlton is a bartender whose dream of becoming an actor has become mostly aspirational, as big studios opt for more cost-effective computer-generated characters. But one midafternoon, an old man in an old-fashioned blue suit walks into The Patriot’s Grill where Joe works. The customer orders a draft beer and begins to tell a story, saying that he used to go to a place a lot like The Patriot’s Grill back in college. Little did Joe know that his life was about to change by becoming involved in a revolution that would change the course of the nation.

The Patriot’s Grill has a vibe reminiscent of classic dystopian novels like Brave New World and 1984 but with a unique and original twist that will make your jaw drop at the end. As you witness the political tides constantly shifting, it is difficult to ignore the premise that Steven Day offers in this tale that may well become a possibility that our children’s children might witness. Sure, the ending has a small probability of ever happening, but the frightening times that the plot exudes as people desperately look up to a good leader figure make you believe that it can happen. This story can happen not only in America but in any freedom-loving nation if it loses its hold on its values and recollection. This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the prophetic and the possibilities of any country’s future.