Monday, May 31, 2010
Flight of Shadows Review
Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer
(from the back of the book)
Looming buildings rise into the sky of a near-future America, shadowing the desperate poverty of the soovie parks, death doctors, and fear bombs. In this world of walled cities, where status matters most, Caitlyn Brown is desperate to remain invisible, wrongly believing what she needs to hide is the deformity on her back. The powerful want her for so much more.
She’s forced to take flight again, relying on the help of Razor, a street-smart illusionist she can’t trust. Her only hope is to reach friends already tracked by government.
With a twisted bounty hunter in full pursuit, she and Razor begin to learn the unthinkable about her past and the unique gifts of her DNA. It leads Caitlyn to a choice between the two men who love her, and whether to keep her freedom or sacrifice herself to change human destiny.
This book is a sequel, which I didn’t know until after I was about half way through. Although looking back it makes sense. Obviously I didn’t even notice and was able to jump into the story without any trouble but there are things that you can tell had some history behind them and it would have been nice to know what it was. In this book Caitlyn and some of the other characters have come from Appalachia, which is cut off from the rest of the world, and are now in a whole new world and things work differently then they are used to. It makes for some interesting situations for the characters but it also makes for some lengthy explanations as well. There are spots where someone is explaining to one of the characters (and to us as the reader) how the social hierarchy works or what has happened in world history and at times it sounds a little like a lecture. The story switches between Caitlyn, who has everyone chasing her, and her friends, who have troubles of their own, and all the various people who are chasing Caitlyn so there is a lot of action that keeps the novel moving at a very fast pace. The secondary characters are sort of a mixed bag. Razor and Pierce are interesting and complex but Mason, the bounty hunter chasing her, becomes over the top in his sadistic nature and pushes credulity. Her friends, Billy and Theo, have potential but most of the focus is on Razor here and you don’t get to know they as well as I would like. I wonder if you got a better picture of them in the first book. Caitlyn herself is confused and hurt and dealing with hard issues of freedom, abandonment, love and forgiveness all while she tries to escape and figure out who she should trust and what she should do. She is sympathetic to a point because you can understand that she is put in the middle of something beyond her control and she doesn’t know what to do and she is young, scared and in many ways alone even among her friends. But I don’t think I ever felt for Caitlyn like I wanted to, I was interested but I don’t think I ever cared about her the way I was meant to. The story is interesting and there are a lot of characters, plots, twists, motivations and surprises so you don’t know what is going to happen next, how it will all turn out in the end, or even sometimes who are the good guys who are the bad guys and you keep reading because you really want to know. It was a good, rather dark adventure and reading this one made me interested to go back and see how it all began.