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The Lost Dragoneer (The Chronicles of Susah) (Volume 2) Paperback – January 3, 2013
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About the Author
C. D. Sutherland is a B-52 pilot turned novelist with his THE CHRONICLES OF SUSAH series. These novels defy conventional classification as they blend action and emotional tension with technology and spiritual intrigue in a coming of age story wrapped in an epic adventure set in the antediluvian age. Born in Virginia, to the son of a coal-miner, who escaped a life in the dark Appalachian mines by joining the U.S. military, C. D. Sutherland also joined the military. After high school, he served in the Air Force for thirty-two years, seeing much of the world and doing things most men have only dreamed about doing.
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"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God come in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."
It's an intriguing passage, but sadly lacking in detail. Recently, author C.D. Sutherland has stepped in to fill the gaps. The Chronicles of Susah transports us to a world with all the elements of other magical lands like Oz or the Harry Potter universe: a gifted protagonist, a dangerous journey, a wise old mentor, and of course, giants in the earth.
The Lost Dragoneer is the second and most recent installment in the series. Susah, the daughter of Noah, has little interest in her father's insane boat building project. She has left home and put her ability to control animals with her mind in the service of the Dragoneer Corps, a sort of dragon-powered air force for the nation of Sethica. As The Lost Dragoneer opens, the Sethicans have just won an epic battle against an army of ogres. It is a bittersweet victory for Susah, however. Most of the dragons are dead or dying and Susah must rebuild the corps. Locating and taming wild dragons is the easy part, though. Susah must also confront vicious ogres, bloodsucking trolls, temptation by Satan, and her own vanity.
Politically, Susah's world has much that is familiar. The story takes place in a time of transition. The old system of tribal government has given way to a Council of Elders, which spends most of its time taxing and regulating - and undermining the military. Much of what we learn about the political situation comes from the hotel owner Keenan. When Susah tells him how lovely his hotel is, he replies proudly, in a pointed reference to President Obama, "I built it."
But it's the way Sutherland intertwines his tale with the Bible that is the unique feature of The Lost Dragoneer. "I began with the Scriptures," he explained to me. "Anything in black in white must remain and is off-limits to alterations in my story telling. Using that approach, everything between those gaps are gray-areas and by definition free-game for my extreme fiction. After some of my fans started calling my first book Antediluvian Steampunk, I agreed the term is more descriptive than just `Religious Sci/Fi Fantasy'"
Sutherland says that some religious traditionalists have chafed at the technology that he injects into Biblical times: there are blasters as well as swords, skyscrapers as well as castles. Nevertheless, I think most Jews and Christians will appreciate the familiar people and places from the core of their faith. Everyone, even jaded atheists such as myself, will appreciate the captivating story.
Based on some internal chronology, I reckon that The Lost Dragoneer takes place 80 years before the rains start to fall and the animals come on by twosies-twosies. That affords ample opportunities for sequels: I look forward to many more installments in The Chronicles of Susah.
Sethica has repelled an invasion, but the war isn't over. Leadership is faltering. By and large, the citizens of Sethica don't understand the momentum is turning against them, and they are not prepared to defend themselves should the military falter. In fact, little of the city and its people could be described as embodying the potential of Seth's progeny, the last pure descendants of Adam. I find these familiar dimensions that resonate with our times today which, together with other features too numerous to mention here, account for this story's likely classification as a steampunk sub-genre.
"The Lost Dragoneer" is a fine story in its own right and an excellent sequel to "The Dragoneers." It may be centered on a young woman, but this book is not just for girls and teens. It is the work of an expansive and daring imagination that would not, and perhaps could not, create something that does nothing more than entertain.
The book needs another grammar check -- there are some comma splices and many places where commas are incorrectly used. But don't let that keep you from reading this.
I would like to have given it 4.5 stars. Not quite polished enough to be a 5, but too well written to be a 4.
Most recent customer reviews
it sort of turns into a Harry Potter-esque cliche nightmare of, "young kid...Read more