Episode 172: Brian Nelson – The Great Unmaking

A chat with critically acclaimed Amazon-bestselling thriller author Brian Nelson about The Great Unmaking, Book 3 in his trilogy, The Course of Empire.



Brian Nelson’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for The Great Unmaking

About the Book

A propulsive, mind-expanding thriller—and the world-shaking conclusion to the Course of Empire trilogy—about bold scientific dreams turning into nightmares … or perhaps new beginnings …

After usurping control of the world’s most powerful military technology, General Chip Walden knows the endgame is near and tasks scientist Eric Hill with one final assignment. Helped by the love of his life, Jane Hunter, Hill is haunted by premonitions of a coming catastrophe as the technology he created takes on a life of its own.

As Hill attempts to avert disaster, FBI Special Agent Bud Brown seeks revenge for the murder of his fellow agents by eco-terrorist Riona Finley. But what no one realizes is that forces are at work that have already decided humanity’s fate. With the clock ticking toward an irrevocable apocalypse, it’s no longer a question of if the world can be saved, but who will be the chosen few that survive.

The Great Unmaking is the grand conclusion to Brian Nelson’s magisterial trilogy that James Rollins has called “a must-read adventure.”

Praise for The Great Unmaking

“In The Great Unmaking, Nelson crafts an adrenaline-charged, white-knuckle thriller that is sure to leave you breathless. Fans of Crichton, Rollins, and Crouch will love this superb and final installment of the Course of Empire series.”Andrews & Wilson, Wall Street Journal-bestselling authors of the Tier One series

“Extraordinarily enjoyable, The Great Unmaking is the grand finale of Nelson’s epic adventure. It’s also hands down the most ingenious take on the apocalypse narrative that I have ever read. This is an edge-of-your-seat thriller.” – Moisés Naím, author and contributing editor to The Atlantic

“So clearly and forcefully presented that readers will find it hard to put the book down. Nelson has outdone himself.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“I came to The Great Unmaking as a fresh reader. Three hundred fifty pulse-pounding pages later, I closed the book, thoroughly convinced of Nelson’s mastery of a fever-pitch plot…Nelson’s series explores the lines between pastoral idealism and the inevitable gluttony and decay of human civilization…High-paced, plot-driven, and brimming with action…A thinking person’s military techno-thriller…What’s not to love?” – Strand Magazine

About Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson

Brian was born and raised in Ohio and is a graduate of Miami University. After a brief stint as a Systems Engineer for General Motors he set off for the University of Arizona to study Creative Writing.  

After graduation, he spent two years in Venezuela as a Fulbright Scholar and turned his research into the critically acclaimed book, The Silence and the Scorpion, a “clocked” account of the 2002 uprising against Hugo Chávez. The book was named one of “The Best Books of the Year” by The Economist and was considered by The New York Times as “the most thorough investigation of the April 11th massacre and the subsequent coup.” 

His second book, The Last Sword Maker, an action-packed thriller about a high-tech arms race between the United States and China that follows, follows a diverse cast of characters as they strive to be the first to make the next generation of weapons using a mixture of artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology. It began his Course of Empire trilogy, which continued with Five Tribes, longlisted by Reading the West for best novel of 2021, and concluded with his latest, The Great Unmaking.

Brian’s other work has appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Christian Science Monitor and The Southern Humanities Review, among others. He lives in Denver with his wife and two children.