The New Empire

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
340 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2023
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Author Biography

Alison McBain has 200+ short stories, poems, and articles published worldwide. Novels she’s penned have won the Foreword INDIES Award, Literary Classics International Book Awards, and Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Her latest novel The New Empire is a finalist for the Canadian Book Club Awards. When not writing, Ms. McBain is the associate editor for the magazine Scribes*MICRO*Fiction, administrator of The Scribes Prize, and writes a silly webcomic called Toddler Times about the puns and perils inherent in raising three daughters. She lives in Alberta, Canada.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The New Empire is a work of fiction in the historical, action, and alternative timeline subgenres. It is best suited to mature teen and adult readers owing to some scenes of graphic violence concurrent with history, and was penned by author Alison McBain. Set in an eighteenth century very far from our own, we find ourselves following the author into a world where China was the first to land in what we know as the United States of America, merging and allying themselves with the Native American tribespeople there. Our protagonist Jiangxi is sold as a slave the moment he arrives in this harsh land, but the path to freedom has its own problems too.

Author Alison McBain perfectly captures the spirit of the historical novel with such credibility, atmosphere, and detail that I can readily imagine the alternate universe where this history is playing out right now. I was absolutely fascinated by the tribal confederacies and the way that the settlers divided the land and governmental systems. I also especially enjoyed the unique relationship that develops between Jiangxi and Onas, which took turns I wasn’t expecting and played out in a suitably Dickensian fashion for the era, but without glossing over all the gory, difficult details of the reality of the life that starts with slavery. McBain delivers a sensitively portrayed clash of cultures that never relies on stereotypes but is based on the very plausible and dangerous reactions of humans who find themselves in total control of others, and that is what makes the work so believable and thrilling at its core. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The New Empire to alternative history readers everywhere for its accomplished concept and no-holds-barred storytelling style.