Friday, June 8, 2012

Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer

Her genetic secret could change humanity forever.

Her DNA grants her the ultimate power.

But all she wants is to disappear

Looming buildings rise into the sky of 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 that what shy needs to hide is the deformity on her back. However, the powers of the city want her for so much more.

Caityln is forced to take flight again and ends up relying on the help of Razor, a street-smart illusionist she cannot seem to trust. Her only hope is to reach friends who are already being 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 for human destiny.

Flights of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer is a fast moving novel that deeply explores the consequences of removing morals from both science and society. As the sequel to Broken Angel, I would highly recommend reading Broken Angel first. While Flight of Shadows would be fine as a standalone novel, the storyline is easier to follow if it is read after Broken Angel. It had been a couple of years since I had read Broken Angel, so it took a little while for me to pick up the storyline.

The plot line of Flight of Shadows moves quickly and is full of unexpected twists and turns. There are unseen enemies, surprising friends, and a very unexpected ending. While I liked the ending of the book, I felt it was kind of cop out. The way out, so to speak, left the problems of the world untouched and seemed to recommend escapism from one's problems. However, I still enjoyed the flow of the story.

The characters were well developed, and the reader learns even more about Caitlyn, Billy, Theo, Jordan, and Carson as the book progresses. New characters, such as Razor, add more dimension and mystery to the story and help keep the plot moving. I liked Razor a lot. He added humor and depth to the novel. I did not like how the author resolved Caitlyn's decision between the two men who loved her. If anything, I think the revelation author made should have caused Caitlyn to choose the other man. I agreed with man she chose, I just did not like how she made the decision.

The themes of Flight of Shadows are very intriguing. While Broken Angel explored the consequences of "if religious extremists in America managed total political control over society, Flight of a Shadows reveals even darker possibilities of a society that reverts to total loss of freedom for all except the wealthy. The novel explores the idea of America becoming a place of extreme poverty with people broken up into the wealthy Influentials in walled cities, with Industrials living in shacks outside and basically enslaved to the Influentials. Below that there are the Illegals who have no status, no money, no work, and are ruled by gangs. Flight of Shadows clearly showed the frightening consequences of when a society is content to stand by while freedoms are denied to some people groups and taken away slowly from everyone.

Flight of Shadows also explores what happens when all moral constraints are removed from science, specifically genetic experimentation with humans.

Overall, Flight of Shadows was a very interesting and intriguing novel, and I would highly recommend it.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review.

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