Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Ultimatum by Matthew Glass

May 28th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Description: November 2033, Joe Benton, a three-term democratic senator from Arizona, is the newly elected American president. Just days into his presidency, Benton learns of devastating news: his predecessor has engaged in failed climate change talks with China, and previous estimates regarding the effect of global warming on rising sea levels have been grossly underestimated. Miami will soon be washed away, and thirty million coastal-dwelling citizens in the United States will need to be relocated. For Benton, the only solution is to abandon multilateral negotiations in the impending Kyoto 4 and renew top-secret talks with his country’s largest rival and now the world’s leading polluter, China, to force it to drastically lower its emission levels before it is, simply, too late.

I’ve had this book since the end of April and finally got to it.  Since I knew it would be awhile I let my dad read it first and he loved it.  He said it was totally believable, relevant to what is going on in the world and he did not want to stop reading.

For myself it took awhile to get into it and then I could not put it down.  I will say the book did tick me off and I really wanted to smack a couple of the characters on the back of their heads after some of their actions.  The way all the characters interact seems totally believable to me as to how our president, secretary of state, etc would really talk.  It also again makes me realize it’s not surprising how little our government is really able to get done on big issues like the environment with all these factions squabbling.  Olsen as secretary of state seemed to know what he was talking about in regards to China but seemed to have no real filter between his brain and mouth so he alienated those around him even if his basic ideas were sound.  It was understandable to me that instead of responding in a logical manner Ball started to be defensive and argumentative in regards to anything Olsen said.  In the end I did feel like because President Benton wasn’t fully willing to commit to Olsen’s plan he brought the final attacks upon the US.  I think if he had made more of a stand earlier on we wouldn’t have gotten to that point.

I know others will disagree with my opinion and I think that is what is great about this book.  It makes you think and everyone will probably have a slightly different take on who was right, who was wrong and could anything have been done differently.  The premise of this book is a scary thing because the problems are realistic and it’s a matter of how the people all over the world respond to our environmental problems that will determine if we ever reach this point in reality.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, General Fiction

2 Responses

  1. Belle

    Great review. I’m not sure if this is one I’d like, but I like the way you’ve reviewed it. We do need more books that make one think.

  2. dsuzuki

    Thanks. Not really my cup of tea. My dad is more into the politics, keeping up on what other countries policies are, etc. But yes, this book really gets you wondering about how our government works. how other countries differ from us and that it’s easy to complain about what our leaders do but it’s not easy making the decisions they need to make.

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