One of the pure pleasures I enjoy from knowing so many authors is that I get to read a lot of great stories. When Leo Champion asked me to read his novel, Warlord of New York City, I was delighted not only to say yes, but that he couldn’t have timed his request any better. I had a nice hole in my schedule just begging to be filled by a new book.
We are introduced right off the bat to Diana Angela, a resident of New York City in the 23rd Century in an America none of us would recognize today. Diana is an executive that lives high above the streets of the City within the arkscrapers in a society that I would be tempted to call “Woke on Steroids” for lack of a better term.
Classes are strictly enforced and an incorrect thought, spoken word or action – sometimes even by the implication of the offended despite the intent of the now accused (does this sound familiar today?) – can lead to one’s ruin.
But Diana’s prim and proper outward appearance in the arkskrapers is a cover for a life she is carefully keeping hidden. On occasion, Diana makes her way down to the streets where life is much more chaotic and more third-world like. In this world she is known as Lady D and she is an accomplished assassin.
She is on the trail of Jeff Hammer, one of many warlords who have carved out little empires among the city blocks below. Hammer is making noise about making changes in life on the streets and Diana fears another attempt to establish a commune. The first such attempt ended in disaster for all involved and deeply impacted Diana’s life as well.
But Hammer is not the despot she fears he might become and as this first book in the series comes to an end we see a sliver of hope that things on the streets below – and the arkscrapers – are about to change for the better.
I know my first thought after I finished reading it was to try to figure out how exactly the author plans to carry out the many story arcs he has running through this book. As soon as said second book comes out, I’ll be grabbing a copy and jumping right back into this amazing world he has created.
One thought I wanted to share: This novel was written and released in 2019 but it is frighteningly prescient in a way. Much of the “woke” nonsense we are seeing play out in 2020 has taken a firm grip on society in the 23rd Century. Readers of this book should look at this and see it as a cautionary tale of the dark, unlikable world we are on track to become if we don’t change course and the sooner, the better.
Check out the book for yourself and see if you agree: