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5/5 ⭐ | Of Ashes and Dust by Ron Roman

At the heart of this novel is a Vietnam veteran trying to live civilian life as a professor in rural New Hampshire.  But as you begin to pull back the threads that weave this intricate page turner, you see the complex relationships between man, militia, government, and peace.  Author Ron Roman asks and answers some difficult constitutional and political questions in “Of Ashes and Dust” as he creates a post-apocalyptic world and the lead up to how we got here.


Will Watson is a Vietnam Vet, balancing an ex-wife, and trying to find a career in academia once again.  Turning to old friends, in his attempt to make new friends, he joins Liberty Militia.  As he works to get his life back on track the world as he knows it begins to change.  Veteran, professor, boyfriend, and friend are just a few of his titles, but his connection to Liberty Militia, his relationship with Kimiko, and his friendship with Mark drive this story home.


After a declaration is made from the United States government to suspend ammunition sales, the consequences, and global economic fallout from this decision ricochet throughout this read.  This interesting scenario shows that the second amendment doesn’t have to be repealed, but rather the banning of ammo can be used as a way to control guns.  Given Will’s position within the Liberty Militia readers are given an inside look at the way in which this declaration is received, handled, and discussed. 


While all this is going on, Will is maintaining a relationship with a Japanese international teaching assistant and balancing his friendship with Mark.  All these ingredients combine for an interesting, thought provoking, and intricate read.  Written with finesse and an eye for fitting all the pieces together, Roman stuns readers with his debut dystopian adventure.


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