Dragon Protocol

A Novel

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
389 Pages
Reviewed on 10/28/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

Wylie was nothing in the eyes of the world. She had been abandoned at birth and raised by a syn named Amondy. She belonged in the lowest caste, a place where things are rarely good. Still, that did not stop Wylie from hoping for a change. A person can be promoted to a higher position if they proved themselves to be upstanding citizens and if their educational scores supported it. Wylie did her best to be a good person and to become an ideal citizen. Change eventually came for her but in an unexpected way. Finn was the son of the Prem’yera, the Adam and Eve, the mother and father of humankind. Although he and Wylie were best friends, their statuses in life were as different as night and day. Finn’s parents already had someone else in mind as his partner but that did not stop Wylie and Finn from falling in love with each other. However, things did not turn out the way Wylie expected and she was chosen to bond with Finn to celebrate a new beginning in a new world. On the day of their bonding, tragedy struck, and Wylie was caught up in the aftermath. Will Finn be able to clear her name and save her? Or will he fail not only her but the citizens he swore to protect? Read Dragon Protocol by Ali Archer to find out!

Dragon Protocol is a futuristic, science-fiction novel. The book took me on a captivating ride to a dystopian future where people had been forced into castes dictated by where they lived and worked. Wylie is brave and strong - traits she needed to survive the world with the status she had. To me, she was the leader the people needed. Since she experienced the struggles of the people, she would be well-equipped to understand what they needed. Finn could see that Wylie was the partner he needed, not just because he loved her but because he believed in the person she was. They came together like puzzle pieces made to fit together. I was so happy when the two of them were to be bonded! The way their eyes kept finding each other even in a crowded room made me swoon! Ali Archer skillfully portrayed their romance in a way that made it seem inevitable.

The storyline was smooth and even-paced, and the plot was distinctive and filled with twists I did not see coming! I felt like I was constantly on the edge of my seat in anticipation of every chapter I read. The deeper I got into the story, the more questions I had, and the more hooked I was! I devoured the entire novel but I felt sad when I finished it. Overall, this has been an unforgettable adventure with Wylie and Finn.

Cecelia Hopkins

Dragon Protocol: A Novel by Ali Archer opens on a spaceship known as Eden. The youth prepare to receive their caste assignments, and the heir apparent to the leadership, Finn, defies his parents to select Wylie as his “Preferido”. The news that the ship is approaching a habitable planet, Gilese 581j (also known as Lux) creates excitement and halts the activities of the rebels. The colonists settle in the area known as “Sol Eterno”. Unfortunately, a mysterious illness begins to kill humans, just as it may have killed the planet’s previous inhabitants. Birch and Wylie discover something amazing, but the result is that Wylie is sentenced to exile on the dark side of the planet. After Finn’s mother Serantha dies, the Servant class robots overstep their programming. Will Wylie survive to return? Can Finn find a cure for the disease and resolve the factions?

Dragon Protocol by Ali Archer made good use of all the motifs of space fantasy. I enjoyed the storyline which incorporated teen concerns including freedom of choice, and relationships. Other topical themes explored using the caste metaphor were equality and inclusivity. I liked the way Finn and Wylie’s romance was magnified so it became important to the entire population of the spaceship. The contrast between Wylie’s adventurous personality and Finn’s dedication to duty made their relationship refreshing and interesting. I was also intrigued by the variety of robotic personalities represented. Some seemed loyal and endearing, while others appeared cold and threatening, with unexpected twists making the outcomes truly surprising. This was an exhilarating young adult space fantasy with exciting layers of complexity.

Stephanie Chapman

Ali Archer shows how social status can determine the treatment of people in the novel Dragon Protocol: The Eden Project. Divided into four parts, the story focuses on Eden One’s members. Part One focuses on the graduation ceremony of the students. It was announced that Wylie was moving from the lowest class of Shudra to Kshatriya, the highest class except for royalty. Her crush, Prince Finn, is ecstatic as he knows his parents cannot prevent him from marrying Wylie. Part Two shows the discovery and landing on Planet Lux. Wylie ditches her android, Missy, to go with her best friend, Birch, to explore a discovery he had made. Wylie felt the cliffs call her later in the evening. The statue she had uncovered came alive. Fiarre tells her about the pathogen that will infect the world. Parts Three and Four are a battle against more than just a deadly pathogen. Murder, betrayal, and rebellion threaten the people.

Ali Archer’s fantasy shows how social status is a poor criterion to judge others on. Wylie’s ability to move from Shudra to Kshatriya shows how she excelled in everything she attempted. Despite Birch being her best friend, I think he acted more like a brother to Wylie. The trust people put in their robotic servants was baffling to me. Artificial Intelligence shouldn’t be able to do everything people can do without feeling. I liked how telepathy appeared in the story, and it was easy to discern what was spoken out loud and what was telepathic. I laughed at the way Wylie called Fiarre a dragon. However, he kept correcting her, stating he was a Fier. The description of the scenery and characters is vivid and I could visualize everything in the book. I enjoyed the unpredictable storyline in Dragon Protocol. Readers who enjoy a fantasy story full of intrigue, romance, and adventure will appreciate this book.

Vincent Dublado

Dragon Protocol: A Novel by Ali Archer is an inventive and thrilling sci-fi adventure that will leave you wanting more. At the heart of this space opera is Wylie Shudra, who gives the initial impression that she has self-esteem issues because of her self-loathing. But who can blame her? When you have been assigned to the lowest caste and have been serving in the bowels of a ship for generations, there is nothing much you can hope for in terms of a glorious calling. But then the impossible sometimes comes true when she is chosen to become preferred, after a decreed union with Finn, the Prem'yera's son. Wylie discovers what appears to be a dragon, a creature called a Fieren - a discovery that will lead to her exile. Finn will dig into the truth behind the Fieren and what happened to its planet to save Wylie.

Dragons, androids, space travel, and social commentary rarely mix, but Ali Archer delivers it with plenty of thrills, suspense, and intrigue. Her characterization redefines the heroine archetype in Wylie, who is sympathetic in all respects, given that her point of view allows you to get to know her personality and ideals. You will like how Archer structures her storyline to give solid information about characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Dragon Protocol also exemplifies a sense of pride, dignity, and responsibility that is well illustrated in Wylie and Finn, as they exhaust all means to infuse rhyme and reason in a society divided by class. This is not just about the relationship between Wylie and Finn. Archer’s story is a tale of assimilation, where a girl from a low caste dreams of greatness and discovers the kind of politics she needs to overcome when she finds it. The book will appeal to science fiction readers who enjoy a good blend of science and fantasy.

Foluso Falaye

The Eden colonists, after a thousand years in space, have at last discovered a new planet to call home—one filled with mysteries that might destabilize their world. Wylielen's ambition of rising out of obscurity and into a role that matters becomes a reality when she bonds with Finn from the ruling class. Her luck, however, runs out when she makes a fatal error involving the finding of a dragon, leading to her banishment and an arduous struggle for survival. While being forcibly separated from his lover, Finn strives to figure out how to balance the demands of his people with the reality of being betrayed by those close to him. In Dragon Protocol, Ali Archer tells the story of a passionate love story that is both inscribed in the stars and entwined with treachery on a brand-new world that poses unknown and grave perils.

Dragon Protocol is clearly well-written with so much thought put into it. With dissident organizations, sentient robots, telepathy, a strange sickness, intricate political systems, and other themes merged smoothly in the story, the worldbuilding is simply mind-blowing. Romance fans will enjoy following the difficulties and the well-timed wonderful moments shared between the two unlikely lovers from two different classes. As I read the utterly captivating tale, which deftly switches between both protagonists' points of view and is written in the first person, I found myself longing to see Finn and Wylielen together once again. You must read Dragon Protocol if you appreciate science fiction, dragons, romance, or fantasy. It's the kind of story whose world and characters you fantasize about long after it's over. Outstanding work, Ali!