Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: Dronefall




Halcyon Slavic is a Christian and a drone-tracker, relying on her independence and society’s apathy to live life her own way. As long as she keeps her faith private, she’s free to believe what she wants. But her second life monitoring Budapest’s massive system of surveillance drones is a short fuse.

When a drone appears at her window one night, she knows the fuse is lit, and abandons mainstream society to fight back against the eyes in the sky. But her new life hits her with more than she bargained for. She finds herself hiding in a semi-secret community of Christians who simply want to live upright lives away from the world’s lies and suspicion. These saints of the slums want nothing to do with reckless anti-government fanatics who spend their nights sniping the city’s drones out of the sky. Halcyon hides a double-edged secret.

And her hunter has followed her. Can Halcyon manage balancing her new life in a strange community while keeping one eye on the sky? Or will she be caught unawares by this elusive and secret threat from the airspace over her only place of refuge?

*I received a copy from the author for review. This does not affect my review.*

This book is one of those that I find it somewhat difficult to review. Why? Because it’s so different, and original from what I’m used to. So I guess we start there. This book is a Sci-fi Speculative Christian fiction, yeah that’s a mouth-full, but I’m so excited to have read it! I’ve been seeing a rising interest in Christian fiction again, something that seemed pretty scarce for a while, but the Science Fiction scene still doesn’t have many Christian characters yet.

That said, as a reader, even though I am Christian, I’m super picky about Christian fiction, and admit I don’t read much. Why? Two reasons really. One is that as a Christian, I feel that if an author wants to talk about Christianity or Christian characters, verses, or beliefs, they should do so with respect, I feel this is universal among any religion, don’t drag it though the dirt. That doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen to ‘religious characters’, but don’t do it just to stir up trouble (same with with race or any other thing that makes a character unique, be respectful!)
Two, I find in trying to follow reason number one, authors often have Mary Sue’s and really don’t do much of anything. (>.> looks at the large number of Contemporary Christian Romance stories…:P) It’s the same thing, over and over. Is it bad? No, but I much prefer surprises and originality.

So, does Dronefall deliver? I’d say yes.
While the Christian church of District Three Point Five is basically an underground church, and has to mind the laws, they still seem to be a good influence on the community. Just like throughout history, they have been broadcast at the ‘enemy’ and have had to struggle to regain a place as ‘law-abiding citizens’ but even still the stigma remains.

The church isn’t the main focus. While the main characters each seem to be somewhat of a Christian, they also have a criminal occupation…Wait, what?! Yes! The five main characters that we get to know are all drone-snipers, which as a tracker, is the reason our protagonist Halcyon first joined the group. After she realized she was able to recognize and track individual drones as they surveyed the area, she became spooked, and decided to join her friend Reveille in District Three Point Five.

Reveille: She’s a pistol when she wants to be. At first, I really hated how she treated Zolt, but as the story goes on, they seem to chill out. She’s the wildcard in the group…or at least on of them. She’s always on the move, and often acts without thinking. That said, she has a creative streak, and often “thinks outside of the box.”

Zoltan: He was the first character to really grow on me. He’s so unique and is such a sweetheart. He’s always caring, but he does have kind of a ‘hero’ complex, always trying to rescue the girls from tight spots.

Halcyon: She’s….a loner. While she is long time friends with Rev, she really dislikes people, and takes a while to warm up to having others around.

Shep: An Australian, he’s the oldest of the drone-sniper group, and has…connections, possibly from all over the world. He used to travel, but finally settled for a while in Budapest’s District Three Point Five.

Dorian: Also a wildcard at times. Not much is said about him, making him mysterious. He seems to have become Shep’s apprentice at some point.

The plot follows the drone-snipers and occasionally switches perspective to show Global Mind’s nefarious scheme as they talk about new ways to use the drones. There are quite a few mysterious characters that seem to be a threat to our drone-snipers, who I’m hoping to learn more about as the series goes on.

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