This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Good Dictator I: The Birth of an Empire by Gonçalo JN Dias

The Good Dictator I: The Birth of an Empire by [Dias, Gonçalo JN]
An unidentified object parked on the moon - and no one seems to know where it came from. Gustavo, a middle-aged computer programmer with a comfortable and grey life, decides to make a list of what he would need to survive a hypothetical attack. He becomes obsessed with the list, spends a fortune, robs a drugstore: his own family thinks he is going insane. However, after the attack, it’s the insane who are well prepared for a new era in society. First book of a trilogy.

Excerpt:
- I’ll ask you something and you may not decline. – Said Rute with a seductive look.
- Tell me.
- Today, you will have to have dinner with me as a way to repay you for all of your work.
Gustavo gave a little laugh and placed his right hand on Rute's left arm.
- You don’t have to repay me; I did it because I like your company.
- I won't accept a no, please.
At that moment, Gustavo felt like kissing her thin lips, but he thought that perhaps he was misreading her signs and feared being rejected.
- I accept the invitation, then. But first, I will go home, take a shower, change, and bring some wine to water the food.
- Perfect. – Rute answered with a pleasant smile.
While he dressed up for dinner, Gustavo found himself a little nervous, he liked Rute and felt attracted to her, but he wonder if she felt the same way and it everything seemed so fast and recent that it was best to just have a single peaceful, relaxed night, in good company, and not to try any foolishness. He left home very elegant, with two bottles of red wine and with his hands sweating in anxiety.
When he arrived, Rute was already dressed with one of Marta's beautiful dresses, which was somewhat weird for Gustavo. She was still cooking dinner, and they had an exciting talk which lasted the entire dinner, always watered with red wine, which soon made Rute a little tipsy, since she had not drunk for a long time. They talked about the past and their previous relationships. Rute confessed that she missed her two daughters and her father a lot, but she did not mention her grandson, because she did not want to give the image of being grandmother, she didn't even mentioned having missed her husband, because she actually did not feel that way. Gustavo talked about the list, his obsession with the attack, his idiotic parents-in-law, how they had gotten hold of power and the complicated political situation in which he was involved. He did not know whether or not he should kiss her, if he should make a move, if he was mistaking things; Rute on the other hand, felt like kissing him, but she was afraid he took her as an old woman, that the nine year difference would be too much for him. A little after finishing dinner, there was an uncomfortable silence; Gustavo did not know what to say, nor what subject to bring up, he thought silence was a signal it was time to depart, besides, tomorrow he would have to wake up early for the agricultural tasks. He got up, and when he was ready to speak, Rute got up with him and caught his hand softly; she thought of saying something to keep him from going, but she simply looked at Gustavo’s blue eyes; he was filled with courage and approached Rute’s face and lips slowly. After the first kiss, many others came and their hands ran across both of their bodies with more and more intensity; they got into the small bedroom without stopping their kisses as they took off their clothes as they took off their clothes in a clumsy manner and ended up naked on the old bed that Gustavo had brought a few hours ago.
Review: This is a really cool and unique story, the author takes a very different approach to power and the end and rise of the world. It's a very good start to the trilogy and left me wanting more. 

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