“Flight of Shadows” by Sigmund Brouwer was sent to me as a review copy from the group “Blogging for Books” through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers.
“Flight of Shadows” is a science fiction book that takes place in a post-apocalyptic America. There is even a large section of America that has seceded and has formed its own nation, an ultra-religious society called Appalachia. Our main character is Caitlyn, who, because of genetic manipulation, is valuable to many sects of people in Appalachia and in America. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know that. All she knows is that she is being chased.
And, really, that is what this story is about. This girl being chased. Being chased by her old friends (who helped her escape Appalachia—then she ditched them), by her new friends (who try to help her but she runs off), by the good guys (who want to help her but don’t know why she needs help), by the bad guys (who want the secrets inside her), by the other bad guys (who want her because they are turned on by “freaks”), and by the other bad guy (who was hired to take her back to Appalachia).
You would think with all these characters that the reader would actually start to care about them at some point. For me, this never happened. The good guys are jerks, the bad guys are monsters, and the ‘heroine’ is so one dimensional that it is frustrating.
In addition to this book being pretty one dimensional, it is extremely graphic. The violence in this book is off the charts. It starts out early with one of the characters losing an eye in a terrible and grotesque fashion. I will not burden you with any of the details, but it was over the top and unnecessary. Plus, there are multiple mentions of rape and child molestation as cultural norms. The rich do whatever they want to the poor and the poor just have to take it. It seemed as if that is what the author was trying to write about. The differences between the four classes of people in this society are staggering and very sad. I am sure the author is trying to teach a lesson in social policy or something, but it gets lost in the gore of the rest of the book. He tried to create a vehicle to teach a lesson and got very lost along the way.
I will give “Flight of Shadows”… 1 ½ BookWorms.
The story of the genetic manipulation was interesting and could have gone somewhere. Regrettably, the violence overshadows everything else.