Most helpful critical review
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Worthy but.......(2.5 stars)
on 8 June 2009
This is the story of the Harrier team based at Khandahar airport in Afghanistan. Written by Ade Orchard (with help from thriller writer and pilot James Barrington) It details life on the base and in the air, supporting troops under fire from the Taliban insurgents. The author is donating the profits from this book to a military charity, so if you only half fancy this book, buy it anyway.
The Harrier is an awesome aircraft which carries some serious ordinance and is critical in terms of responding quickly to support the ground forces that are in trouble. The squadron detachment to Afghanistan means being based at the airbase 100% of the time so it is quite an intense experience for the pilots and crews.
I am sorry to have to say I was slightly under whelmed with this one. There are a number of technical elements which some will enjoy, but in essence, the jet gets scrambled, flies to incident and drops ordinance onto target. Obviously considerable skill is needed, but it did not make for page turning excitement. Again, life on the base was generally just that - life on a military base. There were some elements that were interesting - the respect shown by the whole base as those who have fallen are airlifted out was very moving, an incident with a Health & Safety officer was amusing but not enough like this to really make me want to turn the next page.
Now, I've seen the other reviews and I know I am going to get slaughtered on this one, but I honestly did not find it gripped me in the way that, for instance, Ed Macey's Apache did. These are brave people doing a fantastic job and if you are interested in knowing what it is like to fly one of these beasts, buy this book, if you want to see what life confined on a base is like, buy this book, in fact as the profit goes to charity, buy it anyway. Just don't expect a pulsating thrill ride.