Fiction - Intrigue
290 Pages
Reviewed on 09/09/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Wyonation is a work of fiction in the political thriller, intrigue, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience owing to its complex themes and some moderate adult language and references. Penned by author Dallas Jones, the near-future scenario of the plot unfolds when Wyoming, plagued by an imbalance between its cattle and cowboy populations, faces expulsion from the US. This sets off a nationwide effort to remove Wyoming as a state, prompting questions about its fate if successful. Our protagonist, Grayson Woodley, who played a vital role in Wyoming's fight for survival, is approached by a foreign diplomat years later to recount the state's resistance, his relationships, and his memories of the struggle. The story delves into political drama and Western-style themes, shedding light on Wyoming's determination, Grayson's personal experiences, and the complex dynamics between the state's associates and adversaries.

Author Dallas Jones has crafted a deeply immersive experience into a unique blend of political intrigue and Western flavor with confident narration and an attitude deeply grounded in reality and current affairs. The premise of a state's expulsion added an intriguing twist to the traditional political drama that is unique to the subgenre. The characters were well-developed, and Grayson's perspective provided a deep dive into the struggles, emotions, and relationships during Wyoming's fight for survival. The narrative style effectively captured the essence of the neo-Western genre while weaving in political elements, making for an engaging and thought-provoking read that will certainly keep me thinking long after setting it down. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Wyonation to fans of political dramas everywhere.

Pikasho Deka

Wyonation is a gripping political thriller by Dallas Jones. Eighteen years into the future, Wyoming is no longer considered a US state. Instead, it's classified as a Natural Range Region called Wyonation, governed by its own laws. After two Wyonation Protectors kill a Chinese diplomat for poaching, one member of the Chinese delegation, Mr. Tang Dingbang, has a conversation about Wyonation's creation with Grayson Woodley, the Director of Wyonation Treasures. Grayson tells the story of how and why Wyonation was created eighteen years ago due to the dwindling population of Wyoming, which prompted the DC politicians to take advantage of the state and its inhabitants. Caught in the midst was the Native American populace, who had much at stake. But Grayson is about to learn who was pulling the strings all along.

Soaked in political intrigue, romance, and action and sprinkled with a tinge of mystery, Wyonation is a captivating political drama that provides thrills galore. Dallas Jones has crafted an engaging story that draws inspiration from real-world American politics, with varying factions looking to further their own interests at the cost of the nation and its people. It's easy to see the key political talking points integrated into the plot as an exaggeration of the politics played out in the real world. Jones uses a nonlinear narrative style to tell the story. It allows readers to see the events and their fallout from the perspective of two different timelines. Despite the premise, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of humor in the book. I found the dialogue particularly witty and crisp. Recommended to readers who love political thrillers.

Asher Syed

Wyonation by Dallas Jones is a speculative novel that unfolds with Lin Lok, a Chinese consulate employee, being fatally confronted by Wyonation Protectors who view him as a wildlife threat. Grayson Woodley, a Wyonation representative, explains the situation to Chinese diplomats and US officials, defending Wyonation's self-governing status and its right to uphold wildlife laws. China demands justice for Lin while cultural and diplomatic tensions escalate. Grayson supports the Protectors' actions due to resource protection and anti-poaching efforts. As global conservation clashes and cultural disparities mount, Grayson forms an unexpected bond with Chinese envoy LeRoy Tang over shared memories. As the state-cum-nation of Wyoming faces a dwindling populace and potential dissolution, Grayson strategizes to reshape perceptions, finds comfort in unlikely arms, and confronts the complex issue of Wyoming's autonomy. Amidst political maneuvering, personal connections, and fabricated crisis, uncertainty looms over Wyonation's future.

“So that’s how Wyonation became more than just the state of Wyoming...” Who knew Wyoming could be so darn interesting with a future of potential secession and cows as far as the former state lines can see? The storyline of Wyonation by Dallas Jones is almost eerie in the themes Jones explores through speculative elements that relate to real-world issues, like government overreach, cultural preservation, and the balance between modern conveniences and traditional values. The writing is exceptional and truly engages readers in an alternate reality where a proposed Twenty-eighth Amendment threatens Wyoming's statehood and the dynamics of how a state might respond to federal intrusion and possible secession. Out of all the characters, I loved Lenny the most. He is terrifyingly smart and exactly the type of mastermind you do not want on the opposite side of an argument. Grayson is equally devious and as far as the ultimate anti-heroes go, this is as good as it gets. Overall, this is a quirky, intelligent, and wildly entertaining novel and I have no doubt those who read it will feel the same. Very highly recommended.