Battle in the Avenue


Loved it! 😍

Battle in the Avenue is a satisfying alternate reality thriller about a future where fuel is more than a luxury.

Owen Bradley is a Chicago professor at one of the last universities. He's a specialist in the history of the Fuel Wars and in teaching about SOR – or synthetic oil replacement, in which the primary ingredient sugar is in declining production. At the end of one of his classes, Owen receives a mysterious package.  Despite his curiosity, he saves it for when he gets home, only to discover that it contains just a piece of paper with a clue written on it.  It appears to be a simple phrase, but it's a phrase that turns Owen's life upside down, and now he must seek out the truth.  The truth about his family and how the Fuel Wars have impacted his life in ways he never knew.

The story then turns to Clare Furmore, a calm, cool, and strong paid assassin. She knows martial arts and other ways to kill without being apparent hits. She is also keen to take on cases where she can address social injustices.  And one of those social justice targets is Vigo, a shifty multi-millionaire who seems to be behind the extended impacts of the Fuel Wars. But who is Vigo, and where did he come from?  What role did he play in how Claire came to be an orphan? 

Battle in the Avenue, by Sean McCutchen,  is a believable tale of greed and betrayal. The story slides easily between the different storylines, with solid world and character building. It's a fast-paced thriller that keeps your attention as you root for Owen and Claire in their race against corporate villains. I liked the backstories created for each of the characters and surprises along the way that weren't necessarily all that predictable. I thought it was fascinating how the universities were almost underground. It's a twist on today where many people go to either college or university before heading off to their chosen career.  I liked the dystopian nature of the book and that it wasn't quite as overwhelming a dystopian world as Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake (which I did love, though).

Battle in the Avenue is a satisfying alternate reality thriller.  I highly recommend it to readers who enjoyed Emily St Mandel's Station Eleven or want a less complex read than the MadAddam series.

Reviewed by

An avid reader since Grade school, I think there is nothing better than losing yourself in a good book. I've also taken on the role of finding great books for my niece and nephew to read so I pre-read quite a few middle grade and YA novels to find great books to inspire their love of reading.

About the author

Sean McCutchen is an engineer, amateur woodworker, and athletic nerd. He loves to travel, read, and ponder all of the possibilities a project holds. Whether it is the detailed joints of a piece of furniture or the complex intricacies of a plot, Sean enjoys the journey of design. view profile

Published on September 08, 2022

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Technothriller

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