Drone (Beyond the Dome #1) by Jackson Dean Chase (English review)

Drone (Beyond the Dome #1)

This is the first of the series, called "Dronetown" written by Jackson Dean Chase.

The Cover: It shows Vikka, the 15-year old green eyed ginger, and Zan, the boy with the chestnut hair and soulful brown eyes looking at each other in a familiar way at each other. Below them is the city of New World Plutonomy where they live, which resembles New York and which promise to guarantee for better times when all residents do what they have to do. The front is rendered in blue, dark colours, whereas the typeface is silver and white. The title is in capital letters and the "O" of "Drone" indicates a blue star in the middle.

Behind the story: Dronetown is a place for people who are bred only for working, so the elite has a better and easier life. They live in LivRite Apartments which are broken dwellings and live under the most horrible living conditions. Drones (the workforce) have short lives, so they are "no drain" for society. They work at an early age on, they marry with 18 and reproduce with 21 and die with 40. Their life is divided in 7 days 12 hours shifts where they work in the factory. Most marriages come into being by taking part of the factory marriage lotteries. Drones have no privacy and almost none know what real love or individuality is.

The world we are aware of, changed in this reality because of overpopulation, pollution, wars and corrupt governments which killed people instead of helping them. The consequence was that big, multinational companies formed the new government called, the New World Plutonomy. It consists of the council of seven which made a pledge that as moguls they would create a safe future, so that everyone would have a shelter and food. And domes were built so the citizen wouldn't need to breathe the polluted air and subways connected them.

Of course, there was resistance at first and some residents joined unisons, however, they were punished with death and the few who got away, are now hidden and are called the "Revolution".

The beginning: Vikka's parents owe money to the oxygen firm. They need to pay or will die as a result. Both her parents are disabled. Her father was hurt years ago after a bomb exploded, which was put there by terrorists. He is blind and has no extremities. Her mother is also in a wheelchair because she donated her legs to get money. Their only chance is their daughter, Vikka who dreams about a free life for her and her family.

But she needs to help her parents first and is determined to donate parts of her body in the Outreach Clinic in Dronetown.

However, her plan is altered once Vikka has to climb the service ladder because the turbolift is broken down. She discovers the dead body of Widow Kenjins who fell down the ladder because a loose rung pulled free. Everybody has one breather and oxygen tank for their own and it is illegal to own more than one. Yet there is a black market where you can sell these items. Vikka hopes that with the money she will earn thereby, that she doesn't need to sell anything of her body. She just arrived at the Trade-Mart, a pawn shop, where she wants to make some money, when she meets an Elite boy with an expensive black riding suit and a white jetbike.

Unfortunately, Vikka can't get enough for the goods and two dangerous street punks want to chase after her and she braced herself for a fate worse than death, when suddenly the boy she noticed early, rescues her in the nick of time. Their next destination is the Surgi Pharm where Vikka plans to sell parts of her body to get out of the debt situation. Yet, she is kidnapped by three men in black uniforms which work under Doctor Ernst, who is the head of Experimental Genetics.

And Doctor Wernst makes her an offer she reasonably can't refuse. However, which is the price and the consequences for her? Who is the strange boy? And can she save her family?

A masterful written novel which reminds the reader of the current situation in free trade areas and China (with its one child policy), where workers are nothing more than 2nd-hand residents and Dean's fictional world has a real and alarming effect. It is a warning to respect and watch out before we are living on a dying planet where not only all animals are extinct, but hope and every kind of humanity.


Kind regards,

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