Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Consequence” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.35  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  40 reviews
San Francisco activist Christopher Kalman has little to show for years spent organizing non-violent marches, speak-outs, blockades, and shutdowns for social and environmental justice. When a shadowy eco-saboteur proposes an attack on genetically engineered agriculture, Christopher is ripe to be drawn into a more dangerous game. His certainty that humankind stands on the br ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Salted Rose Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Consequence, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Consequence

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  55 ratings  ·  40 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Consequence
Bill Harrison
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Consequence” focuses on a small group of political activists living in San Francisco in the years following September 11. The novel follows several tracks of their connected lives. One important thread concerns their preparations for a specific act of civil disobedience while another explores one member’s tentative venture into a more aggressive form of activism. As we follow these interwoven stories, the novel quickly develops into a riveting drama which feels deeply personal and urgently impo ...more
Rebecca Hemphill
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I rarely read novels, preferring non-fiction. But when I do read a novel, I do so because I want to experience a way of living and thinking that is far from my own. Consequence, by Steve Masover, more than met my hopes. It grabbed me and immersed me in the lives and thinking of activists who are committed to doing something "in the time left to pull the earth out of its nose dive," and for whom in the face of the wave of seemingly unfixable insurmountable crises, when "hope dwindles," "paralysis ...more
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Consequence takes place in a time that readers will acutely remember – post 9/11 and the early months of the Iraq war. The characters in Consequence are activists fresh off their defeat in protesting/preventing the Iraq war, and are now pouring their energy into the issue of GMOs. The fictional story is so seamlessly integrated into real world events (like Abu Ghraib) that you forget that you are reading fiction.

One thing to be said about the novel is that Masover’s lyrical language brings the
Bridget Almas
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'Consequence' combines fast-paced suspense with beautiful writing and deeply developed, highly believable characters. While it was the suspense that kept me from putting it down once started, several times during the reading I found myself pausing to consider the beauty of a particular turn of phrase. By the end, I felt that I really *knew* the characters populating the story, and, thanks to the wonderfully descriptive language, had also physically inhabited the spaces of their lives. The story ...more
Stephanie Carroll
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From broaching the politics surrounding American involvement in the Middle East, to the workings of the internet underground, to agricultural genetic engineering and the daily life of an activist community—Steve Masover has presented us with a truly intriguing story about hidden worlds we know exist but often know little about.

In our digital society, information is available at the stroke of key, and we have been exposed to the undeniable realities of cyber terrorism, the Snowden revelations, a
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Within the first couple of chapters in this book, I knew that I was going to struggle through it. I think the book is well written and executed nicely. But I do have to say that some of the language in this book made me feel rather dumb. With that being said, there were moments that I would be reading and my eyes would just gloss over and I would need to re-read or give up for the night.

Though I cannot say that this book is really for me, I am glad to have received it and to have read it. I'm gi
Barbara Rhine
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steve Masover’s Consequence will have instant appeal to readers who enjoy fiction that addresses the political issues of the day.

Social justice and environmental activists who devote a good portion of their lives to change the world will particularly value this story. Plus, those activists who have ever lived in a collective fashion, for political or counter-culture reasons, or both, will be even more interested. When was the last time you read a novel set in a political communal household? (
Mal Warwick
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trade-fiction
Where is the line between peaceful and legitimate protest and terrorism? Though the answer to that question might seem obvious, it’s not — and Berkeley-based author Steve Masover’s debut novel, Consequence, explores that territory with skill and sophistication.

Consequence tells a tale dominated by three characters: Christopher, a brilliant writer and researcher who lives in a small San Francisco collective dedicated to peaceful action against genetic modification; “Romulus,” a computer hacker wh
Andrew Dombrowski
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Consequence is a gripping and timely novel treating themes of activism, resistance, and sacrifice, grappling with the dilemma of whether our beliefs force us into action, and if so, how, to what effect, and at what cost. One of the most remarkable aspects of this novel is that it blends tight, suspenseful plotting and an air of moral urgency with thoughtful characterization, a leisurely and intimate sense of place, and an interrogation of the ambiguities and tensions that activism implies. This ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's pretty rare for me to enjoy a book set in a world that's so far removed from my own experience, so I'm impressed by how thoroughly Consequence pulled me in. Before reading this book, my impression of the San Francisco activist scene was that it's basically a lot of idealistic former hippies and stoners who fervently hop from one "cause" to the next, but are essentially only talking to each other; Steve Masover deserves a lot of credit for showing a much more nuanced, complex world through h ...more
Matthew Felix
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Consequence by Steve Masover is a gripping novel, focusing on Christopher Kalman and his household of San Francisco political activists, who are losing faith in the effectiveness of their street protests. The novel traces strains on their non-violent principles as the household confronts challenges they are ill-prepared to negotiate, most dramatically Christopher’s recruitment by a shadowy figure to act more radically than he ever has before.

The novel’s plot is interleaved with thoughtful philo
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I found myself completely drawn into the multiple story lines that are expertly woven together into the conclusion of the story. The characters are beautifully fleshed out and Masover has been able to create the right amount of tension with his prose so you both want to hurry through to the conclusion and slow down to enjoy the style of his writing. Definitely a good read.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Ending really surprised me. . . This book was worth waiting for . . .
Andrew Brodie
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
CONSEQUENCE is about small people with a noble idea on the one hand, and a somewhat darker more narcissistic element on the other that operate alone and darkly confident in their isolation. The first group are not flashy people, they are people on the “fringe.” They are the kind of people that in small ways decided that organic food was healthy and started to grow it and by doing so pulled the whole of society with them so that every major grocery store has an organic section, no matter how susp ...more
Jim Hughes
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rarely have I read a novel that I immediately desired to read again. In the first go-through, I was captivated by the characters, the suspense, the mystery – the thrill of the story. The second was for the sheer enjoyment of seeing how the writer pulled it off.

He does it with two main story lines, both protests against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). One is a blockade of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the raising of a huge banner with the slogan “GMOs = Poison for Profit.” The s
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Engaging on many levels, I highly recommend reading Consequence. It took me too long to pick up this book and, once I did, I couldn't put it down. I loved the pace, the insights, the very special relationships, all bringing to light the aspirations and realities of hard core activists in ways that make the reader relate to each one of the characters on a human level, despite their vast differences. From the first paragraphs it's apparent that Steve Masover has a talent for fluid story telling, e ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was absolutely blown away by Consequence, and wonder that movie rights haven't been snatched up. The dramatic tension is so expertly managed that it really was hard to put the book down. The characters are vivid and plausible, from the overbearing professor to the punk teenager to the passive-aggressive brother. I loved from the beginning that we weren't privy to some omniscient perspective, but knew the shadow characters only by the names invented for them by their contacts.... Chagall and Ro ...more
Michael Kaufman
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Page Turner on the Disaster of Genetic Engineering.

I met the author during his and my common fight against toxic coal overwhelming a poor neighborhood on the West Coast. Our struggle was, in some sense, paralleled by the story his novel tells - a story that gripped me.

We’re introduced to a collective of interesting people living in close, family connections, while rubbing against one another, and yet united in a non-violent quest to mobilize the city against genetic engineering.

Meanwhile, in a
Nissa Kagle
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Masover's novel Consequence brings to life the dilemmas, joys and dangers faced by activists committed to social justice and the desire to create a better world. Expertly weaving together the lives of those with different views and approaches to confronting society's wrongs, the reader gets an insider's look at the fascinating and normally hidden world of activism, from civil disobedience to hacking to sabotage. Masover does an excellent job letting us into the workings of this underground world ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of those rare books that takes you inside the lives of leftist political activists in the SF Bay Area in recent years. Certainly one of the few books that takes such people seriously. Illustrates how a group's commitment to activism affects their living situation (collective home), childrearing, and thought processes. Dispels the notion that leftist activism is knee-jerk: decisions are taken seriously and nothing is idealized. The final plot twists are surprising yet rooted in the book's the ...more
Kate Raphael
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Consequence. As an activist, it was a joy to read about social movements as they really are, not dumbed down or sped up. There’s a whole scene where people argue about what to put on a banner. The author has a wonderful sense of the right details to give the reader a bone-level experience of what it is like to engage in any given activity, whether it’s encrypting an online chat or practicing for a banner drop by climbing a rock face. He perfectly captures the emotional tenor of ...more
Steven M Long
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I’m not an activist – in fact, I believe that most activists are kidding themselves about the impact they make; there’s a line in Consequence where they address people like me, who opt out of that crushing sense of responsibility. I suspect that the members of the Triangle – the collective where many of the characters in Consequence live – wouldn’t like me very much. I found them to be kind but naive, and a little bit sad. It’s a world – of actions and protests – that I know little about, and Co ...more
R. C. Barajas
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Consequence is that rarest of stories – a smart, thoughtful and thrilling page-turner. The carefully constructed build-up to a very real act of violence is contrasted by serene domestic moments among a dedicated cohort of political activists. Their lives reveal the subtle dynamics of a chosen family community brought together by shared beliefs and a desire to help reshape the world around them, no matter how daunting a task. The light touch coupled with deep observation is characteristic of Maso ...more
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Consequence has complex characters that make you feel like you are getting to know individuals instead of learn factoids that drive a plot line. Masover does not preach any moral messages or attempt to make the reader agree with his point of view. Instead Consequence presents the intertwining lives of a group of people with common goals but differing approaches. The main characters are part of a communal living situation called the Triangle. The relationships between the characters are intriguin ...more
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a multi-layered book, with an engaging plot that carries the reader through a variety of philosophical and moral questions on multiple scales.
On an individual, human level, the journey of the main character highlights struggles many of us seem to have with love; finding one's purpose in life; establishing your "home away from home" with a non-biological family; dealing with family dynamics amid the chaos of loss & death; and so on. It's a surprisingly long list for a relatively short boo
Laura Galligan
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received an advance copy of Consequence in exchange for my honest review. Steve Masover’s first novel is an insightful and warm portrayal of group radical activists in small collective in San Francisco where the ties of friendship are old and deep. The novel focuses as much on their loyalty to each other as it does on their need take responsibility of politically, and their turmoil over just how. Part thriller, part meditation, and never preachy, the novel starts slowly and speeds up, building ...more
Steven Yi
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Consequence is a beautifully crafted and thrilling read. The primary story revolves around Christopher Kalman and his housemates' plans to protest a conference for genetically-modified food. This story is interwoven with a counterpoint of richly nuanced lines exploring the many ways that people approach political action, and the array of consequences that result. It is a story not only about political activism itself, but also the political activists and the people affected by their actions.

I lo
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'Consequence' was a beautifully written story full of life-like characters and suspense. After the first chapter or two, I really got into the book. Mostly towards the beginning of the book, there were some technical terms I had to look up. The plot seemed to flow well, and remained consistent with reality. The characters were believable, and I thought the actions they took and their repercussions were very true to the way the world is. The phrasing and imagery was beautiful and sometimes poetic ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful and though-provoking story of activists who are forced to confront how far they will carry their activism. One of the blurbs on the back cover compares the book to The Monkey Wrench Gang, which is interesting, but more for the contrast, I think. I loved Abbey's book when I was younger, but it is a kind of fantasy about ecoterrorism that skirts the impact that planning and executing such acts has on people around those involved.

Consequence paints a portrait of people who are committ
Raymond Yee
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I hope that "Consequence" gets a wide reading, especially by anyone weighing the personal costs of protesting our imperfect social system as a necessary step to improving it. How do you deal with the possibility of unintended but destructive consequences that can flow from your work? How do you deal with the fear of powerful forces that might punish and crush any dissent?

Through reading "Consequence," I got to imagine the lives of people I have largely admired but have taken for granted: idealis
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Steve Masover is an author, activist, and information technologist. A native of Chicago, he currently lives and works in Berkeley, California. His debut novel Consequence was published in September 2015.

Masover’s short fiction has appeared in Stoneboat Literary Journal, Five Fingers Review, and Christopher Street. An essay-length memoir piece is anthologized in Our Mothers' Spirits: Great Writer

News & Interviews

Summer is a great time to lose yourself in a page-turning mystery. To help you sleuth out a new read, we asked five of the season’s hottest myst...
29 likes · 7 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »