Flotilla is an unyielding exploration of people and technology in a perilous world. When 15-year-old Jim joins his dad on Colony D, he doesn’t see it as the new frontier in green technology and sustainability; he sees a free pass out of rehab to spend the summer on a man-made island in the Pacific. Jim thinks his troubles are marooned on the mainland, but it turns out that his dad has secrets of his own. When things stop adding up, and Jim becomes suspicious, he makes a horrible discovery.
But now, that’s the least of his problems.
The United States come under attack, and Jim’s parents go missing. Drug runners and modern-day pirates are coming to settle a score. All he and his sister have now are an old boat, limited supplies, and each other. Jim must race against time if he wants to escape the catastrophic meltdown of civilization.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
This is an intriguing young adult coming of age, post-apocalyptic novel. I really enjoyed it.
Jim Westfield is a wonderful character. I really liked him and admired him as he dealt with situations that most adults would struggle with. I love his character growth. He has an alcohol addiction and in a bid to avoid going into rehab, he chooses to live with his father on a man-made island of boats, farming fish in the Pacific for the summer.
I started this story and struggled to get into it at first. The story is told through the eyes of Jim, who has some serious issues going on around him. He is only fourteen when he decides to live with his father, who lives on a fish farm in the ocean, after a serious drinking session sees him facing time in a rehabilitation centre for alcohol poisoning. Not having had the same issues as Jim, I struggled to relate to him though I could empathize with him. What I love about his story is the way he starts to see what a waste his life has been up until that point. His father, Rick, doesn't coddle him and expects him to work (it is a business after all). I think that it may be a bit harsh for a fourteen year old to be expected to do the work of a man. However, this appears to be exactly what Jim needed. He flourishes on the Horner C and makes some friends along the way.
I loved meeting Miguel. He is the owner of "The Range", a rifle range within the colony, which the various characters use as a club and meeting place. He is a no-nonsense character who takes Jim under his wing and treats him like a son. I also loved Riley, Jim's rather gassy friend. Their antics made me laugh. Then there a menagerie of other characters that live within the colony that gives the island an eclectic feel. Some of them are down right weird though the majority are only looking to make a living but, just like any town, they bring their own personalities to the community.
Once I got into the story, I didn't put it down until I'd finished it. Watching someone like Jim mature before my eyes had me feeling as proud as if he was one of my family. There are a few surprising twists that I didn't see coming and a few scenes that had me giggling (most of those containing Riley). The danger, both on shore from the terrorists and the colony from pirates, kept me sitting on the edge of my seat. I reached the end of the book feeling a little emotionally wrung out from it all. I found myself on a roller coaster ride of emotion and, even though I am still feeling a little angry and disappointed at Jim's father, I am looking forward to reading the next book as soon as I can.
Daniel Haight has written a wonderful coming of age tale. There are elements of hard science fiction and dystopian parts, which will appeal to readers of all ages. I love his fast paced writing style that brought the characters and situations to life. The flow felt a little choppy in the beginning but as the story went on, it got better. I would definitely consider reading more of his books in the future.
I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 15 upwards and to adults who love reading YA coming of age or dystopian novels. - Lynn Worton
View all my reviews
His story credits include the Flotilla series and many published short stories. As a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he refers to himself as a 'blue collar geek' who is passionate about writing, working with his hands and being a dad.
Dan brings his love of sci-fi, geeky topics and media together when he appears on radio shows, podcasts, and at conventions like Wizard World. He works in IT during the day, cares for his family, and writes at night.