For starters, I want to tell you this one goes off in a dark and scary direction. I want to warn you up front, something happens that may be hard to read. I started to cringe a little and really got worried as I saw the story unfolding before my eyes.
Maybe you are a helicopter parent. Maybe you will think this book is a blueprint on how to be a better helicopter planet.
Whether you are or not, this book will take a few issues that could be considered a parent’s worst nightmare, and brings them to the forefront.
“Helicopter Parenting in the Age of Drone Warfare” takes place in the future. I don’t think too far in the future because we’re starting to see some of this technology now, but it’s in the future where parents have the technology to monitor their child’s every single move from birth. Using military style drones connected with special contact lenses inserted at birth, parents can make sure their young one doesn’t have a single second of privacy.
This is where the trouble starts. We meet our main characters, Abe the father, Cathy the mother, and Zack the kid. Abe works for a high-tech company, and is so involved, so wrapped up in work, it takes all of his time away from the family. It causes him to miss out on a lot of events. Instead, he sends this “Parenting Drone” in his place. It allows him to see and experience events happening in Zack’s life without actually being there.
The book is laid out with Abe having a conversation with a detective. The story is basically him telling the detective “what happened.” I will not go into detail and spoil it for you by telling you what happened, but it’s rough. The final event is rough. It actually took a different direction than I thought it was leading too, and it may have some praising the technology for changing the course of events.
But I can see arguments from both sides of the picture here. You’ll have those who will blame the technology for getting us this far into these tragic events that unfold in the story.
I think the story can be looked at as a statement on the current society without coming out and being so blatant. It points out just how much people rely on technology. The future of parenting is monitoring from a distance. But something the book touches upon without just coming out and saying it are the many flaws with living in the world of technology. There is something Zack does that his dad Abe doesn’t realize until it’s too late. Let’s just say Zack kinda pulls the wool over his dad’s eyes.
The story is short, fast paced and keeps moving forward. The whole time you can sense it building to a crest in anticipation wondering which direction the author is going to decide to take. The story points out consequences when too much technology can backfire, and when you allow technology to replace social interaction.
Helicopter Parenting in the Age of Drone Warfare will absorb you into the world of smart houses and spying drones making you feel like you are living in a Black Mirror episode. As you get to the final 3rd of the story, you find yourself tensing up because you start seeing the direction it’s going. Maybe your heart beats a little faster and you start to sweat. And you realize it’s headed toward something that we see in the news all too often. It is unsettling. I got a little nervous. I didn’t want to read what I thought was coming.
This will definitely play with your emotions, and it may make you more aware of how reliable upon technology the world appears to be.
Title: Helicopter Parenting in the Age of Drone Warfare
Author: Patrick Barb
Publisher: Spooky House Press
Publication Date: November 29, 2022
Format Reviewed: eBook