Caitlyn Brown is not a typical young woman. She thought that she was deformed but has learned that she has been genetically modified. This modification allows her to extend and retract wings. Although she has made it “outside” she knows that she won’t be safe as long as the government is still hunting her. Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer continues Caitlyn’s quest for truth and help.
Flight of Shadows begins with Caitlyn working the night shift at a hotel in what was formerly known as Washington, D.C. This is now a walled city-state and only the “Industrials” (workers with minimal human and society rights usually sporting facial barcodes) and the “Influentials” (extremely wealthy) are found inside. What should have been a routine room cleaning becomes an attempt at subjugation and possible rape and results in proof of Caitlyn’s physical modification.
Unfortunately Caitlyn is on her own in the city and she is still being hunted by Casper Pierce (a National Intelligence or NI agent) and Mason Lee (a bounty hunter from Appalachia). Caitlyn knows that they don’t necessarily want her alive, they just want to harvest her eggs and possibly some blood. Her genetic modification is much more than just having wings, but only a few people are aware of how different she is compared to other “experiments.”
Theo and Billy are outside the city walls, working in a smelting factory and living in a soovie park. Apparently since cars are only owned and used by the “influentials,” the “illegals” (workers or refugees without rights) are residing in cannibalized SUVs, vans and minivans in soovie park ghettos. There’s no electricity in most “soovies” and running water is hard to find. If that wasn’t bad enough, the sick are always at the mercy of “death doctors” that euthanize the ill and dying while hoards surround the occupied soovie to scavenge the dead’s property.
Although Caitlyn suffers greatly, she is fortunate to come across people always willing to help her. In Broken Angel she had Billy and Theo, and now she has Razer, a wealthy street-smart kid that helps her hide and escape detection by the NI. Flight of Shadows reveals more about Billy and Theo and spends a little more time discussing their trials while waiting to reconnect with Caitlyn. Mason Lee is still a bad guy on the hunt for Caitlyn, Billy and Theo. He also hopes to get revenge against Pierce for breaking his arm, forcing him to run and the suffering he incurred as a result of his run from Appalachia.
The caste-like society is more prevalent in Flight of Shadows, and the disparity between the have and have-nots is highly visible. Although the city-states don’t govern as tightly as the religious leadership in Appalachia, the rules regarding the various castes are just as rigid and unjust. And like most societies, past and present, those with money are allowed to abuse the system at will. This dystopian future is shocking and abhorrent but regrettably one is able to see the seeds of this future being sown by present actions. Caitlyn does escape in the end and is joyfully united with her father, Billy and Theo. The program that created her is destroyed but will its destruction be permanent or is the government just biding its time before they begin again? Although Flight of Shadows is filled with abject poverty and grave injustices, it ends with hope and a sense of purpose.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”