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Jacobite by Name*

Speculative Fiction with a Heavy Dose of Political Satire

In this satire about near-future Scotland, that country is feeling the after-effects of Brexit and the wrath of the Tories, specifically a post-Brexit faction called the New Georgians. A shadow a group of scientists, the Guild, responsible for advances in cloning and quantum computing conspire with the Vatican to bring about another Jacobite rebellion.

Will this Jacobite uprising succeed? Or will the Tory plans for Scotland come to fruition?

As an American of Scottish descent who visited that area of Great Britain last year, I was intrigued by the concepts of this book when I read about it at a book review site I use. This book is definitely political satire with a healthy dose of wry, dark humor. I would also call it speculative fiction because of the Guild’s work in furthering modern technology and its use. The book lacks a clear protagonist, which sometimes makes the book’s many twists and turns hard to follow. The story is told from the perspective of an omniscient narrator in an almost detached, journalistic fashion, with a heavy emphasis narrative prose that tells more than shows. We are told of political events more than we see them happen in action. I think this book could have benefited from being shown through the dialogue and actions of a narrator-protagonist rather than being told by a narrator.

I did laugh at the line early in the book when the new Viceroy of Scotland’s Tory faction is described thus: “If only they could restore the social structures of Georgian times, London could once again be the centre of a great empire spanning the globe. People said that Tories wanted to take the country back to the 1950s but in the Viceroy’s view, that wasn’t nearly ambitious enough. The 1750s would be ideal.”