Published by Tor Books on June 17, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy, Science fiction
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
Kari, a young woman, returns to her jungle planet of Dora after ten years in Earth’s schools and is determined to unravel the mysteries surrounding the harpies, a feral species half-bird, half-mortal. The residences of Dora believe the harpies are dangerous game animals and hunt them for their trophy wings, but Kari thinks they are intelligent and not just wild animals. A rare golden harpy, a teenage blond male with yellow wings rescued Kari as a child from the jaws of a water monster. Upon returning home, she learns the harpies are facing extinction with the over-hunting and she sets out to save them, all the time wondering if the golden male is still alive.
Flight of the Golden Harpy is a fantasy, but also a mystery, thriller, and a love story that leaves a reader questioning our humanity
Flight of the Golden Harpy is a graphic, gripping tale about a colonized Planet named Dora.
Dora is half the size of Earth, but similar to Earth; it’s mostly a freshwater ocean with one large continent and hundreds of islands to the west. Except for the cold mountains, the tropical temperature doesn’t vary much, warm during during the day and cool at night. There are two seasons, the wet and dry. The multi-color jungle trees are enormous. Tiber is Dora’s main export. Like the harpies, half the animals have wings to navigate through the thick foliage. But Dora’s most notorious creatures are the large, warm-blooded reptiles.”- page 19-20
So think of the planet as Jurassic Era Earth with angels flying around. The angels are called harpies, and they are considered to be extremely dangerous. They kidnap and rape women regularly, at least according to rumors. Flight of the Golden Harpy has an interesting world, and it was definitely my favorite part of the book. I could read descriptions about it for days.
Enter Kari, our main character. She is saved by a golden harpy when she is a child, the most reclusive of the harpies. Her father panics and sends her to an Earth school for 10 years. Our story begins when she arrives on the planet after her school and realizes that “her” golden harpy is still alive and in love with her. Kari must sort through lies and uncover the truth about herself and her people and figure out why she is so drawn to the harpies and their plight.
Shail is a golden harpy, and the golden harpies rule over the more timid browns. His story is interwoven with Kari’s and the graphic tale begins to unfold. The course of the planet is changing and only he can save, or doom, all of the colonists through his choices.
I did not really care for this book, exempting the coolness of the planet. I felt that the conversations were stilted and tended to be over-explainy. “Yes, you are wise and I was incorrect in not believing in you.” is the kind of mumbo-jumbo going on. I also felt like Kari was an interesting character, in the beginning, and she just ended up mindlessly subjugated unless she wanted to put herself in mortal danger for no real gain. She ended up mostly useless and annoying at the end. Everyone was worried about protecting her, and it ended up costing more lives. If she actively contributed, that would have been fine, but she pretty much just cried and ranted a lot. Boring. There is graphic violence and rape in this book, so if that bugs you do not pick it up. There is also a lot of mortal danger, getting out of mortal danger, then jumping right back into the mortal danger. It was the same theme, slightly different over and over again. The end was unsatisfying, in a sort of, “and they all lived happily ever after” way. I did not get the impression of any sequels. If your shelves are full, skip this even though it has really good cover art. The “noble” harpies are kind of like fingers on a chalkboard at the end. Spaceships and faraway planets being colonized was the best part of Flight of the Golden Harpy.