Interview H A Raynes , Book Nation of Enemies


Book Review
Nation of Enemies, By H A Raynes

Rating: Four and a Half Sails out of Five.             Explanation of My Review System
Some background first, Nation of Enemies is a thriller set primarily in the Boston area of the United States during the year 2032. It’s leading character is Cole Fitzgerald an emergency room physician who works at Massachusetts General Hospital. Tension starts almost immediately as Cole is trying to take his family out of United States and immigrate to the United Kingdom. 
The United States has become a nation in a second civil war, this war is not over race, but primarily over a tiny device that traps people in tragic lives. Almost everyone has been injected with a MedID chip. If their MedID chip indicates they have an insufficient score to participate in productive society, their lives become chaotic and difficult. Add in the religious views of citizens, national security, politicians, billionaires, and law enforcement all taking different sides and you have a setting for a great deal of tension.

 There were a couple of moments late in the book where I saw or felt the characters would have different responses: Reverend Mitchell is talking to his primary supporters and accomplices via deeply encrypted video chat. A billionaire is among them, and there is brief moment when I had re-read the exchange for clarity. Still later, I also saw Cole, the Ivy League trained doctor as having enough sense to understand a situation he enters where a person he knows and recognizes is working under cover. Neither of these brief moments weakened the story line.

The descriptions of the areas, the authors insight with regards to human behavior and emotion, is excellent. The use of the settings to create backdrops for scenes of rising tension is also on par with any well known authors—of thrillers—in our modern times.

As the book draws to a conclusion, several moments come together with a mix of desperation, strength, and nerve that keep a reader engaged in the story right to the end. This is a good vacation read or the perfect read for that rainy weekend.

This review is my own. I was not paid or compensated to review this book. I purchased my copy from Amazon and read it on my Kindle Fire HD .



 H.A. Raynes lives and works in the Boston Massachusetts area. She was inspired to write NATION OF ENEMIES by a family member who was a Titanic survivor and another who escaped Poland in World War II. Combining lessons from the past with a healthy fear of the modern landscape, created the inspiration for her current novel. A longtime member of Boston’s writing community. Raynes has a history of trying anything once (acting, diving out of a plane, white water rafting, and parenting). Writing and raising children seem to have stuck.

Interview with H A Raynes

       1) Did you conceive of BASIA or the plot of the book first?

      BASIA grew from the original concept. There needed to be a group of anti-government fanatics that would be at the front line against lost civil liberties and the lack of religion within U.S. government. I wanted Brothers And Sisters In Arms to feel homegrown, like military family.
       2)You’re very familiar with the Boston area. How did the historical influence of the area affect the development of the story.
           I’ve lived in Boston now for more than half my life and I’m very familiar with the city and the outlying areas. That certainly lent to my heartfelt angst at destroying it within the book. But that made it personal to me. I love that the Freedom Trail runs throughout the city and that just walking the streets of Beacon Hill or through the Boston Common, it could just as easily be during either past or future revolutions. In addition, the planes that departed Logan Airport on  9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing brought everything so much to the forefront for me as I wrote this. Those events helped shape the year in which I set the novel, 2032. I wanted it to be the near future.  
       3)What book is on your nightstand right now?
           The Martian . I’m enjoying it very much and am working hard not to see any previews to keep my experience and imagination “pure”!  
       4)How much time did you spend on medical research for the book?

           I have a few doctor friends I tapped into. But I definitely needed to do separate  research on DNA and genetics, the future of gene mapping, et cetera. It’s a guess, but I probably spent somewhere around 10 - 15 hours of research on anything medical related, including Lily’s complicated delivery of the baby.  
       5)What other works have you completed?  Short Stories?
          The first thing I wrote was a screenplay that was a finalist in the Massachusetts Screenwriting Competition. After that I published a flash fiction story in the online magazine Redivider. I have one full and one 2/3 finished novel on my harddrive (needed a break from both, may return one day…). And then came Nation of Enemies.  
      6) Can you tell us a little about your next book? What is in the planning stages? Mystery? Another Thriller?
          I’m about a third into the first draft of this one. I can’t say too much about it at this point, but I can tell you it’s told in multiple points of view. It takes place in New York City. And it revolves around the lives in an apartment building. It’s different from Nation of Enemies, but still has an air of mystery with a thriller component. 
         Thanks for being on Just a Writer or a Thought Producer. Best of luck with your book.