Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons – a shadowy group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest subversive tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead.

Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But Ishimura’s hiding something… He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive videogame’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.

An engaging read from beginning to end. Superficially inspired by Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle only in respect to the basic premise, Peter Tieryas vision is very much in the here and now – even though it is set mainly in the 1980s (albeit a very technologically advanced 1980s).

The main protagonist Ben Ishimura is a multi-layered character – flawed and conflicted, he may be, but laser focused on his vision of the world. Supporting characters contrast Ishimura brilliantly and the world building is quite spot on throughout.

Bottom Line
With its plot centred on video games, giant mechas and debaunched alternate history, United Staes of Japan will keep your attention and fire your imagination.

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