“Target Utopia,” a “Dreamland” thriller by Jim DeFelice and Dale Brown, is an exciting read. As with the earlier “Dreamland” books there is a return to the action-packed scenes of air fights, and the character interaction is strewn with tension. At the forefront of all the action is the main character, Breanna Stockard.
Although she is not among those who are directly fighting on the front lines, Breanna is the focal point. As the Whiplash Director of the Department of Defense Office of Special Technology she must decide the mission and the fate of those she sends into harm’s way. In addition, her relationships with her husband, Sen. Zen Stockard, her father, Tecumseh Bastian, and one of Whiplash’s pilot, Capt. Turk Mako is explored; yet, there is not any resolution in this book.
In an action-packed plot, Breanna sends a Whiplash team headed by Col. Danny Freah into Malaysia to investigate Muslim extremists who have found a UAV. Along with pilot Turk Mako and newcomer pilot Torbin Van Garetn (Cowboy), they discover a conspiracy that involves a former member of the taskforce team, Lloyd Braxton. They are in a desperate race to recover the aircraft and capture those responsible before actions will set off World War III.
An interesting point explored is how commanders must decide which is more important the mission or those who they must command.
“I wanted to explore the balance between accomplishing the mission and risking people’s lives,” DeFelice noted to blackfive.net. “Commanders must deal with the practical and philosophical issues.”
Besides Breanna, other interesting characters include President Mary Christine Todd, who is someone any American would want as the first woman president. She is willing to listen to all points of view, including those who disagree with her, is always willing to make the hard decision, understands her goals, and has a realistic point of view. Another noteworthy character is the villain, Braxton. He is very intelligent, a science nerd, self-absorbed, socially stunted, and narcissistic, inotherwords a psychopath. He believes in Kallipolis, the psychopathic take on Plato, that philosopher kings would run the world.
DeFelice also gave a heads up about a future book. He will be writing a new series with Dale Brown, a spy thriller involving robotics. This techno-thriller is based on technology just released and is written closer to the present time than the “Dreamland” novels.
Whether writing a fiction or non-fiction book, DeFelice has an inspirational story where the backdrop is real world events.