A Gripping Techno-Thriller Fueled by Love and Dystopia: “The Price of Safety” by Michael C. Bland

Published 30 Aug 2023
by Anca Antoci

Title: The Price of Safety
Author: Michael C. Bland
Released: 06.04.2020
Buy from Amazon
4.10 (read)
Our review:
5.00 (read)

If you've been following me for a while, you know that although I mostly read fantasy books, I sometimes enjoy a little science fiction with a dash of dystopia and strong thriller vibes. You know how much I rave about Anna Mocikat's books. But today I want to introduce you to a new to me author, Michael C. Bland. The book I'm reviewing today is The Price of Safety, a sci-fi thriller that explores family bonds, technological suspense in a dystopian setting and ethical dilemmas. I can't tell you enough how much I loved this book, but hopefully you'll get the gist from my review.

Assuming you're unfamiliar with the book, I'll share with you the back cover description and then I'll dive right into my review. If you know the book, you can skip directly to my thoughts on it.

Book Description from the Back Cover

By 2047, no crime in the U.S. goes unsolved. No wrongdoing goes unseen. When Dray Quintero learns his 19-year-old daughter Raven committed a heinous act, he covers it up to save her life. This pits him against the police he’s respected since he was a child and places him in the crosshairs of Kieran, a ruthless federal Agent. To survive, Dray must overcome the surveillance system he helped build and the technology implanted in the brains and eyes of the citizens.

To protect his family, he turns to a group of fighters who also discovered the government’s secret. But their help isn’t enough, for his adversaries have a level of control he’s unable to escape. That no one can.

Hunted and betrayed, with time running out, Dray must choose between saving Raven and dismantling the near-perfect society he helped create.

My review

In “The Price of Safety” by Michael C. Bland, readers are thrust into a riveting tale that seamlessly weaves technological suspense with the unbreakable bonds of family. Set in a chillingly plausible 2047, where no crime goes unnoticed, the novel follows Dray Quinteros, the brilliant mind behind revolutionary nuclear fusion technology. The intricate world of control he has constructed comes crashing down when his daughter Raven’s life is endangered, urging him to abandon everything he knows in a desperate quest to rescue her.

From the very start, Bland paints a future that is both eerily close and profoundly relatable. In a world where neural networks infiltrate our thoughts and surveillance cameras are hidden within our very eyes, the façade of utopia shatters to reveal a darker underbelly. The suspense tightens as Dray Quinteros navigates a treacherous path to safeguard his family from an unrelenting pursuit fueled by a brutal crime.

Bland’s narrative mastery shines as he takes us on a roller-coaster ride through futuristic medicine, technologically enhanced Agents, and heart-pounding machine gun battles. The second half of the book unfolds with an unyielding pace, making it nearly impossible to put down. The relentless action keeps readers on the edge of their seats, as Dray faces gut-wrenching choices for survival, adding an extra layer of unpredictability that fantasy enthusiasts, like myself, truly relish.

Central to the story’s resonance are the characters themselves. Dray’s unwavering determination to keep his family intact contrasts with the strong-willed personalities of his teenage daughters, resulting in moments that will resonate with parents. As a mother, I found myself immersed in the poignant themes of parental protection, the implications of advancing technology, and the future of society. Bland’s narrative invites readers to question the world we inhabit, leaving us pondering whether the depicted dystopia might be closer to reality than we’d like to believe.

The prose in “The Price of Safety” flows with a cinematic quality that envelops the reader in its urgency. Bland’s storytelling craftsmanship effortlessly paints scenes with vivid detail, evoking emotions that resonate long after the book is closed. As a fantasy writer myself, I admire how Bland seamlessly transitions from one gripping moment to the next, maintaining an impeccable balance between action and introspection.

Without a doubt, I wholeheartedly recommend “The Price of Safety” to fans of science fiction, thrillers, and those who appreciate the emotional depth of a family’s journey. This novel not only entertains, but it also prompts us to delve into the ethical dilemmas one might face to safeguard their loved ones. As the book concludes with a tantalizing cliffhanger, I eagerly anticipate diving into the sequel, eager to be captivated once again by Michael C. Bland’s expertly crafted narrative.

As I reflect on this novel, I’m reminded of the power of storytelling to engage readers on multiple levels. As a writer, I aim to draw inspiration from Bland’s ability to interlace suspense, familial bonds, and societal reflections. I strive to create stories that not only entertain but also leave a lasting impact on our readers’ perspectives.

*This review was first published in Hooked on Books on Medium. I write for a variety of Medium publications on topics like productivity, mindset, books, writing techniques and more. So for content other than fantasy, check out my opinions on Medium.

Our final verdict: