NetGalley Devours: Dragonflies: Shadow of Drones by Andy Straka

Today I’m excited to review a Sci-Fi/thriller title from one of our independent publishers.  If you’ve already read and reviewed this book, be sure to share your review via the Feedback section in NetGalley, or on Facebook and Twitter! (#NGdevours)

Dragonflies: Shadow of Drones by Andy Straka
LLW Media; Pub Date May 14, 2013



Shamus-Award winning crime novelist Andy Straka breaks new ground with this near-future science fiction thriller.

Former Army helicopter pilot Raina Sanchez is plagued by nightmares. She can’t erase the memories of being shot down in Afghanistan, of losing her foot in the crash, and the death of her commanding officer. When asked by an ex-military contact to participate in a secret drone operation with ties to the war, she jumps at the chance to exorcise some of her demons.

She joins Tye Palmer, the decorated ex-infantryman who rescued her from the flaming wreckage of her Kiowa chopper.  As civilian private investigators, together they embark on a sensitive, risky effort: using cutting-edge micro air vehicle drones in an attempt to expose the son of media mogul Nathan Kurn as a campus date rapist.

But as Raina and Tye come closer to the truth about Kurn and his powerful allies, Raina’s loyalties take a potential detour when she begins to understand a chilling reality. In a world where surveillance devices as small as tiny insects are being piloted into places most would never imagine, public and private forces both large and small are maneuvering to control them with inevitable consequences. For Raina and Tye the danger didn’t end when they finished their military careers−the threat has just begun. [From the Publisher]


I have to first applaud the author’s understanding that there will be those who read this book and may not understand a lot of military terms and slang, and he gracefully explains each acronym and term so that the reader is effortlessly educated without it feeling forced or awkward. Bravo! It made the story very accessible so that I could focus on what was happening, as opposed to trying to figure out the definition of key terms.

I found myself immediately absorbed in Raina’s past and present. As a former Army helicopter pilot, she suffers from PTSD after a terrible crash where she lost her foot (and now has a prosthetic) but certainly not her determination and focus. She now has been recruited to operate almost invisible drones to help solve a crime. Her partner, Tye, who is also the man who pulled her from the wreckage after her crash, is a little more mysterious as not too much is revealed about him but he shares the same discipline and determination as Raina. Together they demonstrate the skills they acquired during their time in the  military and begin to realize that the war they were fighting overseas isn’t the only one they’ll have to fight in.

I found myself drawn to Dragonflies for a few different reasons; the engaging mix of genres (Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller), the protagonist (a confident and strong female), and because a long time ago I wanted to be a helicopter pilot. So this title allowed me to escape into a world that I have always been interested in, while mixing in mysterious government projects, crime, conspiracy, and perhaps a hint of a future romance.

This is the first of series and introduces the characters, world, and plotline. And while no explosive secrets are given away in this title, with a skillfully crafted plotline, suspenseful build-up and a climatic cliffhanger you can guarantee I’ll be impatiently waiting to read the second in the series.

This is a Read Now title in the NetGalley catalog! I read it on my Nexus 7 tablet using the Aldiko Reader app.

Find more information on the official website:

– Review written by Tarah Theoret, Community Manager


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