This is my review of YA dystopian thriller, Saving Raine, the first book of the new Drone Wars series by Frederick Lee Brooke. But first, more about the author :
Frederick Lee Brooke launched the Annie Ogden Mystery Series in 2011 with Doing Max Vinyl and following with Zombie Candy in 2012, a book that is neither about zombies nor sweets. The third mystery in the series, Collateral Damage, appeared in 2013. The first book in Fred’s entirely new series, the Drone Wars, is called Saving Raine and appeared in December 2013.
A resident of Switzerland for the last 20 years, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer.
When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella!
It’s 2021. The U.S. has become a near-military state, and drones are present in nearly every aspect of life. Assassinations of prominent Americans are common, interstate travel is ruthlessly restricted, explosions rock cities daily and, worst of all, food is increasingly controlled by a corrupt syndicate of rival militias, keeping the country on the brink of starvation.
After receiving a cryptic message from his father urging him to evacuate his girlfriend, Raine, 19-year-old Matt Carney embarks on a cross-country road trip to California. Between a series of attempted hits by political party thugs, the endless interference of local police, and homeland security Predator drones endlessly raining down missiles on private citizens, however, Matt faces more deadly obstacles than he ever imagined possible. And here he thought Raine was the only one in mortal danger.
As he attempts to stay alive during his journey westward, Matt is joined by his stepbrother Benjy, and together they learn that their father is a leader of the terrorist group March22, a fact that does little to comfort Matt as he simply tries to survive the myriad attacks on him from the government, local law enforcement, and terrorist groups. As they travel further across the country, Matt and Benjy learn how March22 intends to fight back against the epidemic of corruption and violence that now festers in the U.S. government-a fight that might change the face of the country forever.
Can two ordinary boys in a blue Ford pickup outrun missiles launched from Predator drones? Can March22 outsmart homeland security and the U.S. government to help Matt accomplish his mission?
And, most of all-can Matt and Benjy arrive in time to save Raine?
I absolutely loved reading Collateral Damage (of the Anne Ogden series) by Frederick. So when he contacted me asking if I would like to have a copy of Saving Raine, two months before it got released, I jumped!. It is the first book of the Drone Wars series.
The book cover is apt for the story line. The title Saving Raine is all about Matt’s cross country road trip to save his girlfriend, Raine. The drones shown in the background play a crucial role in this story.
The introduction to Matt’s family background, is really detailed. It sets a nice pace in the beginning. The author’s writing captures the very essence of each situation, makes you want to hang onto every word of his. You feel exactly what Matt feels. The turmoil that he goes through is very much real. His step mother drives him mad, but she drives you mad too!.
The one thing that really has impressed me is the presence of drones. Every one has a drone of their own. That’s how the author sees year 2021 to be. The police drones are really amazing. It flies upto people, scans their retinas and immediately gets info on that person. How futuristic is that!. Also, drones projects voice too (to use them as your mouth piece, like a mic). The ideas that the author came up with is very creative and believable in a futuristic world.
There is a whole lot of side plots too. You follow Ike and Tranny (who are characters out of Doing Max Vinyl (book one of the Anne Ogden series)) and get to know more about them. There is this character called Peaches who does some sermons spreading peace. I found it to be captivating and sending a powerful message. There are many other too. I love the way it all links together.
I wish the spark between Matt and Raine was portrayed a bit more intensely. However, the way the story goes, I feel that that will be covered in book number two. I just can’t wait to read it!
All in all, a great book!. I give this book 5 stars which by Goodreads standards mean ‘it was amazing!’.
Links to Saving Raine
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Source : I received a complimentary ebook copy of Saving Raine from the author, for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.