Exiles’ Escape–Kirkus Review

Please find below in its entirety the content of Kirkus Review on Exile Escape, being released this fall (yeah, I know. Schedules slip and slide)

Young warriors fight a repressive government in this dystopian vision of America.

Boutwell’s (Outland Exile, 2015) sequel, which begins immediately after the events of his debut, plunges readers back into the high-stakes fight between the Democratic Unity of America and the Restructured States of America, two nations that emerged following the collapse of the U.S. in 2051. Seventy-five years after the great war, tension between two countries is increasing. Seventeen-year-old Unity soldier Malila Chiu has faked her death and is on the run from commander Eustace Jourdaine, who’s engineering a coup that will put him in charge of the nation. At the same time, the Restructured States have sent Will Butler to spy on the Unity and gather secrets from The CORE, its vast computer network. Malila’s childhood friend Hecate Hester Jones is also fleeing the Unity, hoping to make it across the Scorch, a lawless borderland filled with sentient plants. Meanwhile, wizened warrior Jesse Johnstone is on his own mission for the Restructured States, even as he fends off assassination attempts. If all this sounds a little confusing, it is, at least at first. Readers would be wise to start with the series’ first installment, which introduces several key characters and their back stories. Perspectives and settings shift from chapter to chapter, similar to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and, as in those books, it takes a while to see how everything fits together. But Boutwell is a masterful worldbuilder, packing his gripping tale full of rich, creative details that should thrill genre fans, from the shadowy, anonymous Solons, who rule the Unity, to a race of subterranean tunnel dwellers whose society is structured like a union with rituals involving the recitation of poetry (the novel is dense with literary references). The sci-fi trappings should draw readers in, but Boutwell’s sharp writing will keep them turning the page. When he describes a voice as “old and cracking as if taken out of a box just for this occasion,” he proves he can make even quieter moments come alive.

A vividly imagined sci-fi epic.

New Low Price

In preparation for the release of book Two, Exiles’ Escape, later this month (God willing and the creek don’t rise in Pensacola), the price of Outland Exile has been dropped to an all time low of $4.99, a savings of $16 from its original price and $11 off the Amazon price.

My attempt to get as many as possible into an OMAI frame of mind.


Scotsman’s Lament

While rustic, wrothy reckless Scots,
Reviewed from crags the glistening tarns,
Amid the gales and gusts of yore, 
You can believe their knees were sore.
The warmest hose, which have not trod,
Through bog or kyll to martial tune,
But else have kept to road and brig,
Still, lack a certain latitude–
And choose to venture not above
The Tropic of the Fatted Calf.
In liked-manner woolen twill
Of partied-colors, tartaned pleats,
Ere many trepidation, girt,
But dares not descend,
In fear lest it be called a Skirt!
Bereft of covering, to lurk,
This most of all neglected joints,
By Winters’ hard eternal work
The knee is reddened, roughed and rouged.
No doubt the Scots’ renown-ed scowl,
Of dour men, of mien and brow,
Is due to knees in part or whole
Which lack some lotion to console.


[written for Joseph H Boutwell in a gift of a kilt, his first]

Dec 2010