Underground airlines

327 pages

English language

Published April 14, 2016

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4 stars (6 reviews)

"It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred. A gifted young Black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself. A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he's hot on …

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Review of 'Underground airlines' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Underground Airlines is a crime thriller with a twist. It takes place in the modern day United States, but in an alternate world where there was no Civil War, and the southern states were never compelled to give up slavery. Instead, the U.S. stayed together, and the northern states compromised with the southern states. The practice is legitimized and regulated. Advances in technology make the tracking of slaves and the prevention of runaways more and more efficient. The manufacturing industry is thriving in the slave states thanks to free labor and a consumer base that has grown accustomed to cheap products.

The one problem I had with the book was with the female lead, who started out as an intriguing character, but by the end of the book morphed into the kind of personality-less assistant to the male protagonist who shows up so often in the movies. Otherwise, I thought …

Review of 'Underground airlines' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I'm not usually much of a fan of alt-history - it just isn't the kind of science fiction I enjoy most. But this was absolutely an exception to this rule. First, I think it probably is an interesting mix between literary fiction and alt-history - there are definitely literary elements to it. The character development of the main character in particular is stunningly well done.

He's complex, and layered, and all of that comes so clear as the story unfolds. There are a lot of surprises, and it's definitely a page turner.

It's also a fascinating look at what could have been, and, frankly, it's not so far-fetched. It has a way of highlighting our current difficulties with race, and region, and culture.

I would recommend this book absolutely for alt-history fans, and I would recommend this book to just about anyone who thinks about the history and culture of …

avatar for Parto

rated it

2 stars
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rated it

5 stars


  • FICTION / Thrillers
  • Conspiracies
  • Bounty hunters
  • FICTION / Alternative History
  • Slavery
  • Fiction


  • United States