on February 1, 2011
FLIGHT OF SHADOWS is the sequel to Brower's futuristic thriller BROKEN ANGEL. In this Sci-Fi series, scientists have learned to splice human genetic material together with other life forms to create new hybrids. Most of the experiments have failed, except for one ' a girl named Caitlyn Brown. In this second novel, Caitlyn has just escaped from the oppression of a closed culture known as 'Appalachia' , where she and her scientist father had retreated for her safety. She soon discovers, however, that life 'Outside' is every bit as dangerous. Here, the upper class known as the 'Influentials' are all powerful, while anarchy reigns everywhere else. Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of the hybrid 'freak' ' for Caitlyn is not like other people. She has wings and can fly, as well as other genetic properties that make her very valuable ' dead or alive. As she is pursued by the government, the scientific community, money hungry criminals, and a psychopathic predator out for revenge, she comes across an unlikely ally in the person of a street kid named Razor. 'Fast, sharp and dangerous' ' that's his motto. Will Razor be able to protect her and ultimately help her find her true freedom?
This novel is a must read for the Sci-fi lover. Thematically, it reminded me of the motion picture 'Splice', as well as Frank Peretti's iconic novel Monster. When scientists take creation into their own hands, bad things can happen. There are some gruesome scenes in the book, although well written and certainly not graphic ' just enough detail to let you know that the bad guys (in this case, a rogue bounty hunter named Mason) are really BAD. I loved this book. It's a futuristic thriller that, in the end, presents a message of hope for the future of mankind.
Before reading Flight of Shadows I was unfamiliar with fellow Albertan and Christian author Sigmund Brouwer's work. Although Flight of Shadows is the sequel to Broken Angel, I couldn't resist the chance to review it, and I'm not disappointed at all. With few Christian authors delving into the edgier realms of dystopian futurism and genetic engineering, I couldn't wait to read Brouwer's take.
Our heroine Caitlyn has escaped from a life of sheltered stigmatism, marked by the hump on her back, her childhood in a tightly controlled religious community has ended (read Broken Angel for more detail than I can provide.) She now finds herself struggling for survival in a world bent upon capturing her. Whether for government experiments, or personal vendetta's, Caitlyn finds herself on the run as she navigates a world still largely unfamiliar to her.
Brouwer has created a realistic near-future world with entirely plausible outcomes of many events and situations that we find in today's society. His writing is filled with action and suspense and manages to fill in first time readers on the back-story without lumping it all together in a single chunk of expository back story. Rather these facts are subtly, and skillfully woven throughout the novel itself, making for a smooth reading experience.
The only area that suffers somewhat from jumping in mid-story is that there is some character development missing. The new characters are very well drawn, as well as a surprisingly likeable government agent in pursuit of Caitlyn, but the existing characters aren't entirely fleshed out ' a risk that potential readers should be aware of taking with most sequels.
Flight of Shadows is darker than a lot of Christian fiction, there are some dark themes including violence, and the internal motivations and desires of some of the antagonists, many are deviant, and as such, this is a title best reserved for adult readers. Few of the characters are ostensibly believers, with only a couple expressing a personal faith. Others clearly have knowledge of God but do not seem (based upon this book taken as a read alone) to be engaged in a personal relationship with Him.
Now, that being said, I thought that Flight of Shadows was a great read. I could barely put it down! The premise is interesting, and the story incredibly engaging. I'm not sure if another title is planned for the series, but I'll certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for another installment!
on January 20, 2011
I expect an action-filled, page-turning novel with great, dynamic characters from Sigmund Brouwer--and this novel delivers just that. Flight of Shadows was a thrilling read with new problems and new solutions in every chapter. Once or twice, I found it hard to keep all the details (so many characters!) straight, especially since Brouwer provides information on a need-to-know basis (so events that happened at the beginning weren't explained until halfway through). Razor was the most intriguing character, but I also liked how Brouwer gave even the bad guys some redeeming qualities or moments. I also want to read the prequel, Broken Angel now, as I hadn't read that yet--this book stood just fine on its own. I thoroughly recommend it.