Flight of the Angels is an engrossing, action-packed science fiction novel with a cast of intriguing and believable characters. If I had to sum it up in terms of other sci-fi works, I’d call it Battlestar Gallactica meets Left Behind with a dash of The Terminator thrown in.
Set in a world where Christianity is outlawed and believers have fled to safe havens throughout the far reaches of space, the Reinis give us a tale where dark forces hunt down the faithful, where brave pilots struggle to protect a colony while remaining true to their Christian principles, and where God’s Providence is displayed through it all.
I particularly enjoyed the second half of the novel, where the action and intrigue really pick up, but I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much had not the authors spent some necessary chapters developing their characters and unfolding their world. The space dogfights and the down-and-dirty fight planetside at the end were particularly riveting. The Reinis did a superb job making the military action and espionage elements of this book both entertaining and believable. The secretary as gatekeeper scene in chapter 4 is priceless all on its own.
There is an occult aspect to this book. I did say it was a bit like Left Behind, meaning that there is an definite element of apocalyptic fiction to this novel. Christians are outlawed and dark forces are at work which seek to exterminate them. A couple of occult artifacts factor into the plot, letting you know that Satanic forces are as much in play as the Hand of God.
For my evangelical friends, I should mention that there’s a light bit of cursing in the book. Most of this is what I usually term “pulpit cussing”: words you find acceptable when your minister utters them [in context] but are generally frowned upon otherwise. In other words, the sort of words CS Lewis was likely to employ well before the evangelical movement came along.
I bring this up because the Reinis do a great job of keeping the characters believable. Their human foibles are as evident as their authentic faith in God. For example, at one point the main protagonist muses over the emptiness of etherspace [hyperspace], while on a jump:
“The ether was too empty. It seemed to be a place where God couldn’t hear him – maybe even a place where God didn’t exist at all.”
Those sort of doubts [as well as temptations and pride, etc] are what make the charcaters’ choices to follow God as they do, even in the face of death, so very compelling. For example, chapter 13 erupts in a very exciting dogfight in space that also challenges Dex’s standing orders not to kill human piloted ships. Admittedly, the book is very hard to put down from that point onward.
I highly recommend Flight of the Angels and I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel, Hornet’s Nest.
-Rev Tony Breeden
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for review. I was not required 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”