The back of the book says:
In the near future, the U.S. government has turned into a tyranny as the government agencies known as the EPA and TSA grow with ever more power, taking away the liberty many Americans had known for over two hundred years. They're joined by a government agency, the Health Administration, which was put together in the mid-2010's to regulate healthcare.
Told in first person point of view, Brian Atwood, our main character, is a field agent for the FBI in Omaha. His work involves mostly cyber terrorism and actual cases of potential real world terrorism. Eventually his wife gives birth to their third child, who has Down's Syndrome, which does not please the Health Administration because there are rules and regulations set up in cases like these to prevent "genetic freaks" as they like to call them, from sucking up a lot of Health Admin money. Because the Atwoods are born again Christians, they never considered aborting the baby, so now the Health people have to take him away to deal with the problem later.
Meanwhile, the Secret Service decides to recruit Brian to be the personal agent of POTUS due to his great work involving a case that dealt with terrorism that would've involved Offutt Air Force Base. Brian's faith is tested every day as he deals with a man that has no morals from what Brian can see, and is tested even more when his wife finds out she is dying from a fast growing form of breast cancer. Trouble in the rest of the world occurs as Iran attempts to nuke Israel, which fails spectacularly, so Israel takes care of the problem. This brings condemnation from everyone, including the US, which takes the side of Iran.
There is more to the back of the book, but this gives you an idea of what it is about.
Now my review of the book...
Though I found the book easy to read, I thought it could have used some more fleshing out. It's a short book that can be easily read in a couple of hours. Cliff Ball has a writing style that works for him in writing first person point of view. That's not an easy way to write. But, I would have liked to have seen more detail, filling in of spaces.
Now the great thing about the story is how current events actually play a part in the plot. If you read any news articles or watch the news on TV, other than the tripe you hear on the major networks, then what you will read in Times of Trouble is disturbingly prophetic. This isn't just near in the future but some of it is already taking place!
I had just read an article on NewsWithViews.com before I had read Cliff Ball's book. All I can say is Cliff Ball is either working with those folks at NewsWithViews or they are on the same wave length with God. This book looks at America and her citizens in a way that will either have you saying, "No way, that can't happen," or "Oh wow, this is fiction turning into reality."
It is definitely not a book for the faint of heart, but for those who trust in Jesus Christ, it is a book that will encourage every reader to trust even more in Him.
Fast paced, short chapters, strong characters, Times of Trouble is worth reading.
This book was graciously provided freely for the purpose of review, by Cliff Ball.
Here's a bit about the author:
Lives in Texas, born in Arizona, is a Christian and is Baptist. Has a BA in English & History, pursuing a Certificate in Technical Communications. Has published 6 novels and 3 short stories. Won 3rd in high school for a short story I wrote in Creative Writing class for a young adult magazine. As a Christian, Cliff writes with his worldview in mind, so there's some conservative or Christian themes in his novels/short stories.
In order of original publication:
Out of Time - 2008
Don't Mess With Earth - 2009
The Usurper - 2010
Shattered Earth - 2010
Voyager and the Aliens - 2011
Dust Storm - 2011
New Frontier - 2011
Times of Trouble - 2012
Follow me on Twitter: @cliff_ball