1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
475 pages of tosh, 4 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am an aviation nut and I like science fiction so I thought that this book would be a good read. How mistaken can you be.
The story concerns a small private air force sent to a primitive planet to help one group of the natives beat another and so gain vast tracts of land for the company employing them. They are equipped with replica World War I aircraft as these are best suited to the very primitive conditions in the theatre of operations. Great potential there.
What we have is a group of airmen and ground crew who spend most of their time getting drunk or shooting up unarmed locals. Nothing much happens except long tedious talk sessions. Eventually one of them gets killed by a weapon that the opposition should not have. By this time I am hoping that they all get killed before I die of boredom.
Then we find that the do-gooders who claim to want to protect primitive races are going to move in followed by the law enforcement marines. At this point the company back home decide to abandon the men on this planet. We then get more long drunken conversations, a load of angst on the part of the pilots, the commanding officer and a sort of manager. No exciting action, no real sense of danger, no acts of heroism or derring do.
From my point of view the most fun is found in spotting the horrible errors in anything to do with the aircraft and flying. The author refers to "flaps and elevators" on the aircraft. WWI aircraft do not have flaps; they do have ailerons, elevators and rudder. It was at this point I realised that the author knew nothing about aircraft.
Then he says that "Carter did a snap roll to slow down so the rest could catch up with him." WWI aircraft did not do snap rolls if they wanted to keep their wings on even in the unlikely that they could actually perform such a manoeuvre. Let me also explain how inane this statement is. IF you were reading a story in which a group of vehicles were travelling along at speed on a motorway and the leader "did a do-nut to slow down so the rest could catch up" it will give you a slight idea of the absurdity.
I will not point out any more errors as it would spoil the fun for anyone who has the patience and dogged determination to read the entire book.
I did plough on to the bitter end because I had to review the book. I won't tell you the ending, suffice to say that it fits in with the rest of the story.
Now I am sure that there will be some people who will tell you that this is fine literature. The same people will tell you that a daub of assorted colours is fine art and that they can understand the anguish of the artist in spite of the fact that the painting has been hanging in a gallery, upside down, for years and no one noticed.
Well, if you want to pose as an intellectual fine but if you want a good story with action, excitement and adventure this is not it.
The author is an award winning food writer. Stick to the day job son!