Author: Mack Maloney
Rating: 1 / 5 Stars
I guess I should start by saying this book was originally published in the late eighties, ie it is older than I am. I did not know this when I started reading it, and perhaps this fact is one of the reasons I couldn't stomach it. When I received a galley from the publisher for review, I did not realize the book was so old. At the time I received it, it was an ARC for the ebook release. By the time I "finished" it, the book had already been published.
I put 'finished' in quotations because I didn't actually finish this book. Now, don't get me wrong, because I tried. I really did try. It took me a month and 55% of the book completed to finally call it quits. I kept thinking I could stomach it, that it would get better, that I would finally connect with the main character, Hunter, but none of those came to pass.
One of my biggest beefs with this book is there isn't a whole lot of action for a by-the-seat-of-your-pants-fighter-pilot novel. Now, don't get me wrong, Maloney attempted to jam some action/flying sequences in there, but they all fell flat. Mack just did not seem like a storyteller. The writing style of this novel reminds me of a high schooler trying to write a report by googling things and looking them up on Wikipedia and then trying to add a few adjectives so that it doesn't seem quite so researched (this book, of course, was written in the pre-Google and pre-Wikipedia era, which is ironic). This is how Maloney describes jets. He makes a laundry list of the features and just continues to spew out plane names, many of which aren't even main planes in today's military. Tack on the fact that I'm supposed to believe these events are going to happen in the future after World War III and I'm just not buying it.
It isn't just the action sequences that fall flat. The dialogue is bland and generic, and the characters are basically the stereotypical men's men - pilots that do nothing by drink, fly, and have sex.
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book better if I were male. Or if I were younger. But with future military type novels, I try to take more out of my reading experience, and this one just couldn't do it for me.