Reading List: Messiah (Mammon vol. 2)

Kroese, Robert. Messiah (Mammon vol. 2). Grand Rapids MI: St. Culain Press, 2022. ASIN B09GZM9YRC.
After the asteroid diversion and capture scheme chronicled in volume 1 of the Mammon trilogy, Titan, seen as the last chance to rescue the U.S. and world economy from decades of profligate spending, borrowing, money printing, and looting of productive enterprise by a venal and corrupt political class, aborted due to industrial espionage and sabotage, an already dire economic situation implodes into exponentially accelerating inflation, across the board economic collapse, widespread shortages, breakdown of civil order, and cracks beginning to appear in political structures, with some U.S. states enforcing border controls and moving toward “soft secession”.

Billionaire Davis Christopher, who further increased his fortune by betting against the initial attempt to capture Mammon, has set up shop at the former OTRAG launch site in the Libyan desert, distant from the intrigue and kleptocratic schemes of the illegitimate Washington regime. In a chaotic and multipolar world, actors at all levels and around the globe vie for what they can get: the U.S. Treasury, now out to plunder cryptocurrency as its next source of funds; the Los Angeles Police Department, establishing itself as a regional rogue state; the Chinese Communist Party, which turns its envious eyes toward the wealth created by offshore paradise Utanau; the emerging Islamic State in Egypt and the Maghreb, consolidating its power after the collapse of regimes in North Africa, and providing some stability in the face of doomsday Salafist cult Al-Qiyamah, which sees the return of Mammon bringing Allah's well-deserved judgement on the world.

With these and many other threads running in parallel and interacting with one another in complicated and non-obvious ways, the story, told mostly through the eyes of characters we met in the first volume, and now confronted with a global collapse in progress, is gripping and illustrates the theme that runs though much of the author's work: that, when faced with existential global threats, the greatest challenges humanity must confront are often those created by the mischief of other humans, not exogenous peril. So it is here, with the asteroid inexorably approaching the Earth for its second pass, probability of impact jumping all around the scale as observations and calculations are refined, and multiple actors seeking their own desired outcomes from the event and to thwart the ambitions of rivals.

This is a masterful continuation of the story that began in the first volume, reaching a climax which is not a cliffhanger, but will leave you eagerly anticipating the conclusion in volume 3, Nemesis, scheduled for publication on July 28, 2022.

The Kindle edition of this book, like volume 1, is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.