Thursday, April 7, 2011

Flight of Shadows ~ A Novel by Sigmund Brouwer


I’ll admit, I’m not much of a Speculative Science Fiction enthusiast, but I was intrigued by Brouwer’s vision of the future. Unfortunately, having missed the first novel in the series, it took some effort (especially not having a grasp on futuristic fiction) to figure out the way the world in this novel worked.  The characters kept me going, though, I was engaged by them just enough to care about what may or may not happen to them. 

The story is set in the not so distant future, in an America that looks nothing like what we know today (or maybe it does, if you look beneath the surface, ironically) where social class is differentiated clearly and there is no chance of a shift of position. Influentials rule this world. They live the high life of luxury living and fancy clothing, and have the ability to enslave those beneath them.  The Industrials, what would equate to the middle class, have it hard. They are tattooed on their faces to identify them, and work day in and day out for the Influentials. They live outside of the cities in shantytowns and clusters of beaten down communities. Outside even further are the Illegals, the folks that are allowed no entry into the world of the other two, and are forced to scrape a living however they can. Amongst them are the Invisible, those that have no real ties to any class; those that have escaped from the trappings of Appalachia. Appalachia? In this world, Appalachia is its own nation, ruled with an iron fist of fundamentalist religion, where many of the characters have made a desperate escape.

The lead character is Caitlyn Brown, a young woman with a mysterious past and an awful secret. She hides her deformity with loose clothing and hides in the darkness, trying, without success to not be noticed. But, the problem lies in her past, in her creation. She is the result of a genetic experiment and many dangerous people want to harm her. She is wanted by a bounty hunter, who has escaped Appalachia to hunt her down. She is wanted by the government who want to harvest her DNA. She is wanted by her dearest friends, who wish to help her escape out West. She is wanted by the police for trumped up charges. Everyone who discovers her secret wants her for one reason or another, and not many of them are good.

While it took me a while to decipher all of the ins and outs of the world in which Caitlyn lives, once I had sorted out the classes and where everyone fit in, I was able to root for Caitlyn and Razor, her unlikely hero. Would they escape the maniacal clutches of Mason? Was Razor to be trusted at all? And the Doctor that Caitlyn waffles about visiting, the one who had promised her father that he could fix her deformity, will he be all that he seems? Will any of the questions that arise throughout Caitlyn’s terrifying adventure be answered? Will Caitlyn find the peace she desperately seeks? Perhaps. Perhaps not. If Science Fiction is your thing, you will definitely enjoy this novel.

I received this book free in exchange for my honest review ~ from Blogging For Books. If you would like to get your free books, too, please click the Blogging For Books link to the right.

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