Fata Morgana
At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world.Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder--and finds a love seemingly decreed by fate--as his bomber becomes a pawn in a centuries-old conflict between remnants of advanced but decaying civilizations. Caught among these bitter enemies, a vast power that has brought them here for its own purposes, and a terrifying living weapon bent on their destruction, the crew must use every bit of their formidable inventiveness and courage to survive.Fata Morgana--the epic novel of love and duty at war across the reach of time.

Fata Morgana Details

TitleFata Morgana
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherBlackstone Audiobooks
ISBN1504757440
ISBN-139781504757447
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Historical

Fata Morgana Review

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    May 31, 2017
    3.5 stars. This vintage-type SF novel, reminiscent of Golden Age SciFi, is on sale as of June 13, 2017. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:It’s 1943, at the height of the air war during World War II. US Air Force Captain Joseph Farley and his crew of nine men fly a B-17 bomber on missions out of England, bombing German factories and other military targets. On their last mission their bomber Voice of America, a never-ending source of problems (“fixing this one’s like taking a gator 3.5 stars. This vintage-type SF novel, reminiscent of Golden Age SciFi, is on sale as of June 13, 2017. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:It’s 1943, at the height of the air war during World War II. US Air Force Captain Joseph Farley and his crew of nine men fly a B-17 bomber on missions out of England, bombing German factories and other military targets. On their last mission their bomber Voice of America, a never-ending source of problems (“fixing this one’s like taking a gator to the vet. You’re just making it better so it can try to kill you again”) finally bit the dust permanently, and the crew is assigned a brand new B-17F bomber, which they christen Fata Morgana after an unusual type of mirage, along with a new ball turret gunner, Sergeant Martin Proud Horse, a Native American of the Lakota tribe. One of the men, Shorty, is a gifted artist who paints a sorceress type of woman on the nose of the Fata Morgana, following Captain Farley’s detailed description of a woman who haunts his dreams.Their next mission is to bomb a German munitions factory, and on this run the Fata Morgana and its crew, under heavy fire from German fighter planes, are drawn into a mysterious vortex near the factory. They emerge on the other side in an unrecognizable world, a barren, blackened plain where there are only two small, domed cities that are engaged in a bitter war with each other. The Fata Morgana is attacked by a huge winged monster, but they manage a relatively controlled crash landing. Then the crew promptly loses control of their wrecked plane to soldiers of one of the warring cities and is taken in by the other group, led by a woman who is the image of the painting on their plane. The crew tries to adjust to life in this technologically advanced but decaying world. Still, their ultimate mission is to recover and repair their plane and make their way back to their own world, to fulfill their duty despite almost insurmountable obstacles.Fata Morgana (2017) reads as a retro type of science fiction novel, and not just because the main characters are WWII military men. It’s a straightforward, action-packed story with a focus more on the adventure and excitement than on characterization or depth. Captain Farley’s romance (such as it is) is courtly and sweet, if a little trite. There are detailed and true-to-life descriptions about B-17 bombers and bombing runs, particularly in the first eighty pages, which part reads like a straight WWII historical novel. For the most part this is a hard science fiction novel, but there’s a slight “there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio” element to a couple of aspects of this novel that edges it just a bit toward fantasy. The dénouement managed to remind me of both the ending of the WWII memoir Band of Brothers and the love-beyond-time element from the movie Somewhere in Time.Because the main characters are from the 1940s, most of them have outdated views toward, for example, women and minorities ― specifically, Sergeant Proud Horse. Steven Boyett and Ken Mitchroney don’t shy away from giving these men dialogue that is true to the era, but may make some modern readers cringe. When Proud Horse introduces himself and tells his new crew that he’s Lakota (which means nothing to the men) and an Indian, the flight engineer greets him with “How, Chief” and another crewman asks him if he’d left his teepee to come to England and shoot Germans. Proud Horse responds with broad humor and a sizzling baseball pitch that earns him general respect, though the “Chief” nickname lingers. To give them credit, the men do prove to be somewhat open-minded when they find themselves in a world where women are treated equally.With a crew of ten men, it’s understandable that not all of them are distinguishable personalities, but Boyett and Mitchroney did a reasonable job of making several of them memorable, even if they are more or less familiar types. For example, there’s the brave and noble leader, the loyal lieutenant, and the engineer who’s improbably brilliant in figuring out completely unfamiliar technology. (How does he manage to hack a robot when he’s never seen a computer before?)I have to admit I was initially rolling my eyes when the Fata Morgana crew landed among English-speaking people, but Boyett and Mitchroney eventually disclose the reason for that, and the overall plot is fairly well-constructed. I always appreciate it when elements that initially seem random eventually become relevant to the plot in ways that are surprising but logical. The one exception to the lucid story-telling is a climactic scene with some mysterious technology that seems to bend time and space. It was clearly supposed to be confusing, but it veered a little too far into the incomprehensible. On the other hand, the winged monster, a cyborg-like being called the Typhon, felt terrifyingly real, especially when some of the characters get to see it up close.Fata Morgana is not a book that is likely to appeal to every science fiction fan, but if you’re interested in WWII history or like vintage-type hard SF, it’s worth taking the flight with Captain Farley and his crew.I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher. Thank you!Content note: Somewhat surprisingly for a novel about military guys, there's only a single F-bomb here. There's some innuendo talk among the guys, and some violence, but it's all fairly tame. Call it a mild PG-13.
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  • Arah-Lynda
    June 7, 2017
    Fata Morgana:  A Fata Morgana is an unusual and complex form of superior mirage that is seen in the narrow band right above the horizon.  It is the Italian name for the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, from a belief that these mirages, often seen in the Strait of Messina, were fairy castles in the air or false land created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their deaths.    Source: Wikipedia I have not read a great deal of Science Fiction but the premise of this book intrigued me.    In this Fata Morgana:  A Fata Morgana is an unusual and complex form of superior mirage that is seen in the narrow band right above the horizon.  It is the Italian name for the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, from a belief that these mirages, often seen in the Strait of Messina, were fairy castles in the air or false land created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their deaths.    Source: Wikipedia I have not read a great deal of Science Fiction but the premise of this book intrigued me.    In this story which takes place during World War II, the Fata Morgana is a B17 bomber on a mission over Germany.  The crew are tasked with eliminating a munitions sight.  Resistance is expected.    What Captain Farley and his crew did not expect was to be sucked into a vortex in the midst of battle and find themselves pawns in a new war being waged by ancient enemies in an unknown realm.  Part one sets the time and place and introduces you to the Captain and crew of the B17, and as you become more familiar with their history as a crew, you get to know each of them better.  I found the little bits I was served delicious and was hungry for more.  Instead I found myself lost in operational and mechanical detail. Pages of it.  For me it was overwhelming and only served to pull me out of the story.  I yearned to know more about Captain Farley and his crew and how they came to be flying a bomber with a beautiful woman painted on the nose.   They were endlessly fascinating to me but I never really got to know them even half as well as I would have liked. The unknown  realm in which Farley and his crew find themselves is a desolate and dangerous place.  I am talking a grim, post apocalyptic landscape where there appear to be two distinct colonies engaged in a centuries old dispute. One has Farley and his crew while the other has laid claim to the Fata Morgana.   I do not want to say too much more for fear of spoilers but allow me this.  While Farley and Wennda ( a colony rep) are on a recon mission they encounter some bugs; bugs who it would seem are on a mission of their own.  Woot, I loved this part.  There will be more, bugs that is.   Here is the thing, for me at least the narrative did not flow very well.  I kept getting bogged down on all the little hills of unnecessary detail that littered the pages.  Climbing them became arduous and interrupted my journey.  My eyes would glaze over, I would stumble and miss something intrinsic to the story being told, which typically resulted in backtracking. Argggh! My thanks to Blackstone Publishing, Steven R. Boyett and  Ken Mitchroney as well as Netgalley for an opportunity to read this book set to be published on June 13, 2017. 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because I was Bugged.
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  • Stacy
    February 2, 2017
    Oh my gosh! This book was soooo good. It made me cry a few times, and others had me laughing out loud. I really must read more by this author. It was about a WWII bomber, the Fata Morganna, that went through a vortex into the future. He met a girl and fell in love. This crossed a few genres-- historical fiction, sci-fi, romance... I liked the ending too, not what I expected, but now that I am done, I can see nothing else would have really worked. I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley. My Oh my gosh! This book was soooo good. It made me cry a few times, and others had me laughing out loud. I really must read more by this author. It was about a WWII bomber, the Fata Morganna, that went through a vortex into the future. He met a girl and fell in love. This crossed a few genres-- historical fiction, sci-fi, romance... I liked the ending too, not what I expected, but now that I am done, I can see nothing else would have really worked. I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley. My thanks to the publisher, the author and Netgalley for this book.
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  • Tammy
    June 17, 2017
    The nitty-gritty: An exciting time travel adventure that is, at its heart, a love letter to the B17 Flying Fortress bomber.It’s been six years since Steve Boyett published Mortality Bridge , and so I was thrilled to find out he had a new book coming out this year, co-authored by his good friend Ken Mitchroney. Fata Morgana is set in two time periods, first in WWII Europe, where the crew of the B17F bomber the Fata Morgana is getting ready for their next mission, and later in a far-flung futur The nitty-gritty: An exciting time travel adventure that is, at its heart, a love letter to the B17 Flying Fortress bomber.It’s been six years since Steve Boyett published Mortality Bridge , and so I was thrilled to find out he had a new book coming out this year, co-authored by his good friend Ken Mitchroney. Fata Morgana is set in two time periods, first in WWII Europe, where the crew of the B17F bomber the Fata Morgana is getting ready for their next mission, and later in a far-flung future Europe where the world has more or less been destroyed. As you might guess, both these time periods are connected by the Morgana, who somehow manages to fly through a rift in midair during a brutal flak attack.Upon landing in this strange new world, Captain Joe Farley and his crew meet some of the locals, including a woman named Wennda who takes an interest in Farley. But not everyone in this world is friendly, and before they know it, the Fata Morgana has been captured for some nefarious purpose. Farley and the boys want nothing more than to go back home, but first they’re going to have to get their bomber back.Boyett and Mitchroney have clearly done their homework, and then some. The beginning scenes of the book drop the reader firmly in the middle of the action, where we meet the crew members and are given a detailed and loving tour through the belly of the bomber. If you don't already know what ball turrets and bombardiers are, don’t worry. The authors manage to convey a lot of technical information about just how a B17 bomber runs without sacrificing story or characters. Usually I’m not that interested in war stories, but I have to admit the scenes in the air, flying along with Farley, Broben, Shorty and the rest, were some of my favorites. And despite the banter and laughter among the crew, this is war, and the violence is often unexpected and shocking.And boy does the dialogue feel authentic! I can imagine Boyett and Mitchroney watching hours and hours of old movies starring Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy in order to get their patter down. The story is filled with cheesy expressions like “Now we’re cooking with gas” and “What’s the beef?” but as cheesy as these are to the modern reader, they certainly added to the story. And true to the times, feminism is nowhere to be found (at least until Wennda enters the picture), so a word of warning to female readers who may not be too keen on hearing a “dame” described as a “blue plate special.” But all in all, it was great fun and I loved these details.Once the Morgana winds up in the future, the story abruptly shifts gears. The world was a fascinating one—although the “event” that destroyed the world isn’t really explained, and you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief about how the entire planet has been blown up, except for a small group of people living in a crater. Once on the ground, Farley and his crew soon discover that there are two factions who don’t get along: those who live in the Dome, like Wennda and Yone, and those in the Redoubt. The authors spend quite a bit of time describing the lay of the land, but for some reason I could never clearly picture what was going on. This middle section was also the slowest, and after finishing the book I much preferred the action in the air to that on the ground.But some of the SF details were wonderfully done. I especially loved the dangerous creature/robot called the Typhon (and I would have loved a whole story centered around it!). Part machine, part organic something, the few scenes with the Typhon were some of the creepiest in the book. I also enjoyed the biobots, spider-like mechanical repair drones who seem to be one thing, but turn out to be much more. The only futuristic detail I didn't care for—and made me laugh every time it was mentioned—was a “cellophone,” a cell phone made of, you guessed it, cellophane. It felt like Boyett and Mitchroney were trying to be too clever, and it just felt out of place with the rest of the story.Stories about people from two different time periods coming together and trying to understand each other have been done plenty of times before, but I thought the authors did a great job. Some of the funniest moments were Wennda and Farley getting to know each other, but they were also some of the sweetest. Yes, there’s a romance, but it’s not the main focus of the story. Just like an old black and white movie, their relationship was sweet and G-rated.The last quarter of the book is non-stop, as the Fata Morgana crew tries to get back home. Because the story takes place over Germany, I wasn’t surprised when the Nazis entered the picture, and I thought the authors did some very clever things with that scenario. I absolutely adored the Epilogue, which yes, ties just about everything up very nicely. The ending was unexpectedly bittersweet, which is how I like my endings, by the way.A lot goes on in Fata Morgana , but Boyett and Mitchroney handle it all with grace and style, and for two seasoned writers, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Thrilling and nostalgic, with a cast of lovable characters that I couldn’t quit rooting for, history buffs and sci-fi fans alike are going to love this book.Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy
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  • E.P.
    December 21, 2016
    A fascinating melange of WWII "aviation lit" (to coin a term) and hard sci-fi, with a side of metaphysics and fantasy, "Fata Morgana" is a unique book. It's not exactly something I would normally read, but I found it extremely interesting nonetheless.Somewhat to my surprise, since I was expecting sci-fi, the book starts off with a detailed and lengthy scene about an American bomber crew flying missions over Germany in 1943. The planes and fight scenes are described in loving, exquisite detail, h A fascinating melange of WWII "aviation lit" (to coin a term) and hard sci-fi, with a side of metaphysics and fantasy, "Fata Morgana" is a unique book. It's not exactly something I would normally read, but I found it extremely interesting nonetheless.Somewhat to my surprise, since I was expecting sci-fi, the book starts off with a detailed and lengthy scene about an American bomber crew flying missions over Germany in 1943. The planes and fight scenes are described in loving, exquisite detail, hence the designation of"aviation lit," which is a genre I've encountered before, but I don't know that I've ever seen named explicitly. Fans of flying, especially lovers of antique aircraft, are likely to enjoy these passages, regardless of their opinion of sci-fi; as a nervous flyer and a claustrophobe (imagine being in the ball turret!! My heart races just thinking about it!) these scenes just made my palms sweat, but they are masterfully executed. One day the crew finds themselves flying into a vortex during a mission, and...I'll let the reader discover the rest, for fear of spoilers.The crew are charmingly vintage, and the plot is full of unexpected high-speed maneuvers, so that I honestly had no idea how it would end right up to the conclusion. There is also a love story, although that for me was fairly incidental: the machines, both real and imaginary, are the true objects of affection here, and against their backdrop the human characters seem a little flat. That being said, there are no shortage of readers who love this kind of tech-heavy literature, and history buffs as well as hard sci-fi fans are likely to get a tremendous kick out of this book.My thanks to NetGalley for providing a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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  • WW2 Reads
    March 5, 2017
    Normally a Nonfiction reader, I was unexpectedly unable to put this book down. The reader is thrust into the story of an American bomber crew - a part of the story that is sure to thrill every WW2 history fan - and then taken on an unexpected journey into another world. Part detailed history, part science fiction, it is a refreshing exploration of the impact of history on individuals and individuals upon history. The book is officially released in the US by Blackstone Publishing June 2017. If yo Normally a Nonfiction reader, I was unexpectedly unable to put this book down. The reader is thrust into the story of an American bomber crew - a part of the story that is sure to thrill every WW2 history fan - and then taken on an unexpected journey into another world. Part detailed history, part science fiction, it is a refreshing exploration of the impact of history on individuals and individuals upon history. The book is officially released in the US by Blackstone Publishing June 2017. If you like WW2 aviation, historical fiction and/or science fiction you will love this book!
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  • Cathy
    May 19, 2017
    4.5 stars The first section of the book is a terrifically exciting account of a B17 bomber raid over Germany in World War 2 that has a real sense of authenticity. It’s here we are first introduced to the wise-cracking but close-knit crew of the Fata Morgana, led by Captain Joe Farley. Suddenly, however, from WW2 historical fiction, the book suddenly mutates into science fiction as the aircraft and its crew is transported through some kind of vortex into a seemingly alien world.They find themselv 4.5 stars The first section of the book is a terrifically exciting account of a B17 bomber raid over Germany in World War 2 that has a real sense of authenticity. It’s here we are first introduced to the wise-cracking but close-knit crew of the Fata Morgana, led by Captain Joe Farley. Suddenly, however, from WW2 historical fiction, the book suddenly mutates into science fiction as the aircraft and its crew is transported through some kind of vortex into a seemingly alien world.They find themselves and their stricken plane in a bleak, desolate landscape where two competing cities are all that remains after a global apocalypse. Given shelter by one of the cities, the crew are introduced to the inhabitants’ advanced technology but, in a nice twist, they are still able to use their 20th century skills to solve some problems. The world they encounter has an unfamiliar social structure where, from necessity, both sexes perform equal roles, including combat. This is just one of the nods (sometimes rather signposted) to the changes brought about by WW2 in the real world.Conveniently the inhabitants of the new world speak English although there are some amusing exchanges as they are introduced to the crew’s American idioms. For example this conversations between Farley and Wennda, the woman he finds himself attracted to and senses some strange connection with.Farley scratched beneath his crush cap. “Look, I’ll level with you, okay?” “Okay”, she said. “Whatever levelling with me means.” “It means I’ll be honest.” “Have you not been?” “No, I’ve been straight with you.” “Is that the same as being level?” “You’re making my head hurt.”I won’t spoil it by explaining much more of what happens but the whole thing is a glorious mash-up of The Twilight Zone, The Flight of the Phoenix and The Time Machine (not so much the H G Wells book as the 1960 film starring Rod Taylor). It’s well-written, funny, with plenty of action and I really enjoyed it. I found the ending quite touching.I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers, Blackstone Publishing, in return for an honest review.
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  • Jolie
    January 31, 2017
    This book made me a little sad in spots because my grandfather was a gunner on a B-17. He didn’t serve in Europe, though, he served in the South Pacific. It wasn’t until my son, then 5, started expressing an interest in airplanes, that he started talking about the war. Of course, he didn’t tell my son everything, just the names of the planes he flew on and he had pictures of “the ladies” as he called the planes. My son was fascinated that planes had people painted on them and was fascinated that This book made me a little sad in spots because my grandfather was a gunner on a B-17. He didn’t serve in Europe, though, he served in the South Pacific. It wasn’t until my son, then 5, started expressing an interest in airplanes, that he started talking about the war. Of course, he didn’t tell my son everything, just the names of the planes he flew on and he had pictures of “the ladies” as he called the planes. My son was fascinated that planes had people painted on them and was fascinated that Papa shot guns out of the back at the bad guys. He didn’t understand why Papa got weepy eyed when talking about people he served with who were KIA.When he passed in 2015, we found his medals as we were cleaning his apartment. Among them was a Purple Heart….that was buried in the bottom of a draw. My mother wasn’t surprised and said he was injured during the war. We also found the pictures he had hidden away of his squadron with the dates of death and names written on the back. Everything was saved, I believe my mother has the pictures and the Purple Heart in a bank deposit box.What I liked about Fata Morgana is that it was on point with everything that my grandfather had told my son and myself. From what the crews wore, to how the gunners were strapped into the shortwave radio operator to the people who handled the bombs, 100% accurate.The science fiction aspect of the book was well written too. I liked that the Fata Morgana was taken 200 years into the future. A very bleak future, might I add, where the remnants of human society are forced to live in two domes in a crater. They are also fighting each other in a war that is as old as the domes themselves. Very surreal.The B17 crew had to be my favorite characters to read. The personalities of each one come across the pages and make you smile. What I also liked is that the authors stayed true to how men from that era acted and their views on women and people of nationalities/color. I also like that they all smoked like chimneys.I did like the romance between Captain Farley and Wennda. It was innocent, with only a kiss but it was real and I liked it.There are a couple of twists that are thrown into the book that took me by surprise as I read it. One of the twists was big and it changed how I viewed the world that Wennda lived in. There was so much action and at one point, I was on the edge of my seat chanting “You are going to make. You are going to make it”. Want to know why I was chanting that? Read the book!!The end was very bittersweet. I have a theory about what happened at the end of the book but I refuse to ruin the book for people. It is best that you read the book for yourself. Because I feel that people will have the same theory as I do.How many stars will I give Fata Morgana: 4Why: This is a book that will go on my keep shelf. It was action packed with memorable characters who quickly got under your skin. The storyline was pretty good too. It did lag in a couple of spots but the authors did a great job of getting the book back on track.Will I reread: YesWill I recommend to family and friends: YesAge range: Older teen (16+)Why: Violence and some language**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
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  • Spinning Jenny BB
    January 15, 2017
    I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book; I've not read much WWII historical fiction, and I don't think anything to do with the U.S. Air Force, but I do loves me some good sci-fi! Fata Morgana is a classic WWII American Air Force drama juxtaposed with epic science fiction, and it works!!The WWII action is so well-researched you can't help but get caught up in the surreal-ness of the violence of war. The technical aspects are astounding, but better yet, the constant banter between character I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book; I've not read much WWII historical fiction, and I don't think anything to do with the U.S. Air Force, but I do loves me some good sci-fi! Fata Morgana is a classic WWII American Air Force drama juxtaposed with epic science fiction, and it works!!The WWII action is so well-researched you can't help but get caught up in the surreal-ness of the violence of war. The technical aspects are astounding, but better yet, the constant banter between characters, even during life-threatening moments, feels authentic as well: "Let's go boys," [Broben] called out over the interphone. "Those Nazis aren't going to bomb themselves."As this is an ARC, I'm not supposed to really quote too much, but you can't help but feel astounded at the scenario(s) these young men/ boys found themselves! Details about their flight conditions into battle seem absolutely barbaric in our present-day... 75-plus years after the fact!See my full review and amazing cast choices on my blog: http://spinningjennysbookblog.blogspo...
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  • Cassiopeia's Moon
    May 15, 2017
    I got an ARC of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This was a very up and down read. It started off shakily to then develop into something very promising. Then it fell again but managed to finish off in a decent way.The story follows a crew on a bomber plane during World War II. They are sent on a mission over Nazi Germany but something goes wrong and they find themselves stranded in another world. A world struggling with its own problems.I liked the concept of the story and I got an ARC of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This was a very up and down read. It started off shakily to then develop into something very promising. Then it fell again but managed to finish off in a decent way.The story follows a crew on a bomber plane during World War II. They are sent on a mission over Nazi Germany but something goes wrong and they find themselves stranded in another world. A world struggling with its own problems.I liked the concept of the story and was intrigued to read something set during WWII. The more relaxed chapters were really good, but as soon as there were action I just lost focus. Something about the writing style couldn't grip me while a lot was going on. This meant that the beginning with the bombing and the end with the climax just didn't deliver.I liked the characters and the relationships between them. It was quite a big cast and the introductions brief, but it still did well and you came to like all of them. In conclusion , it was a decent read but I won't pick it up again.
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  • Richard
    March 30, 2017
    I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.Even though the first 20% or so reads like a WWII war story set in the air battle and bombing of Germany, this book is a science fiction novel. “Fata Morgana” is the name of a brand-new B-17 bomber that the crew of a bomber named “Voice of America” receives after that plane is shot down on a mission, and crash lands on a beach in northern England. The novel was written by Steven R. Boyett and I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.Even though the first 20% or so reads like a WWII war story set in the air battle and bombing of Germany, this book is a science fiction novel. “Fata Morgana” is the name of a brand-new B-17 bomber that the crew of a bomber named “Voice of America” receives after that plane is shot down on a mission, and crash lands on a beach in northern England. The novel was written by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney, and it was published by Blackstone Publishing in 2016. The first part of the story reads like a straight WWII war story, but then the sci-fi begins. Fata Morgana is defined (at the beginning of the book, just before the Prologue) as “noun: an unusual form of mirage involving almost any kind of distant object, often distorted unrecognizably, and visible from land or sea, polar regions or deserts, at any altitude, including from airplanes.” Such mirages were believed to be “fairy castles in the air or false land created by witchcraft to lure sailors to their death.” The name is taken from the legends of King Arthur and the sorceress Morgan le Fay. And so, the name of the plane gives us a sort of premonition as to what is about to happen to the bomber and its crew. The book starts out (almost literally) with a bang as the “Voice of America” is struck by anti-aircraft fire over Brunswick, Germany while on a bombing mission. One crew-member is killed, and the plane is subsequently destroyed, setting the stage for the story of the “Fata Morgana.” A new crew member arrives to replace the one who was lost, and the new nose art, with the plane’s new name, is painted on the plane. The new crew member is a Lakota Sioux Indian who has, incredibly, survived the shootdown of his previous bomber, the “Ill Wind.” Most of his Indian lore was learned by watching Western movies, but he carries a medicine bag that was made for him by his grandfather. He had given the medicine bag to the co-pilot of “Ill Wind” shortly before it crashed, and it was found in the dead pilot’s hand and returned to him. The medics tell him that the pilot had been dead for several hours before that could possibly have happened. The stage for the unexplained is now set. After being struck by anti-aircraft shrapnel on its very first mission over Germany, “Fata Morgana” flies into a strange vortex and emerges in a different place. Far different, in fact. Despite severe damage to the plane, Captain Farley and his crew are able to make an emergency landing with only one engine running. They have no idea where they are, but it certainly isn’t Germany. They will, however, soon learn just where, and when, they really are. Even though it is 1943, the men soon learn about the advanced technologies we take for granted today: cell phones, infrared and night vision googles, computers, and much, much more. This is the “meat” of the story. Will Farley and his men ever get back home? Can they defeat the forces arrayed against them? Farley meets Wennda, a woman who looks exactly like the one painted on the nose of his B-17. Romance sparks, but Wennda’s father is the military commander of a small group of people who have taken the crew in and provided a safe haven for them, and he has little use for the crew and the burden they have placed on his already-stretched resources. No surprise, then, that conflict ensues. A few aviation inconsistencies were noted, such as the assertion that, the first time the “Fata Morgana” took off, the pilot applied “rear elevator” to lift the tail. Pilots would tell you that it would be “down” elevator that would be applied to lift the tail, and that the only two directions an elevator could possibly be moved to were “up” and “down.” Also, the aircraft supposedly suffered a complete electrical failure after entering the vortex. Yet, one of the engines, an engine that is totally reliant on electrically-fired spark plugs, continues to run. Then, at 26% into the book, and even though there is no electricity in the aircraft, “Farley switched off the interior lights.” How does that work? At 30%, we are told that the plane has “deadsticked down into some Moon Man version of the Grand Canyon . . .”, but a deadstick landing would imply that all four engines had died, even though one of them is apparently still running. There is also a reference to Edmund Hillary at one point, even though it is unlikely that some American bomber crewmen in 1943 would know who Edmund Hillary was. Hillary was a young man from New Zealand in 1943, and had not, yet, become famous for climbing Mount Everest. You are, of course, thinking that the Fata Morgana and her crew certainly got back, but did they? Did they really? If you think you will be able to predict what happens next, you are probably wrong. There are some plot twists coming that I certainly did not foresee, and you probably won’t, either. Prepare for some surprises.All in all, this is an easy, entertaining read. The WWII scenes are vivid and gripping. The dialogue is realistic for the time-period. Loose ends are tied up at the conclusion. I enjoyed reading it, and would not hesitate to recommend it to sci-fi fans who appreciate a little twist in their fiction, now and then.
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  • Bronagh Miskelly
    May 19, 2017
    I received this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for a fair reviewThis WWII meets sci-fi story is very much in the tradition of H Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter series, and indeed draws on a theme going much further back in legends and sagas. You can also point to similar themes in many works include those of HG Wells and CS LewisThe hero (here accompanied by a band of followers, here in the guise of a WWII bomber crew) is pulled into a mysterious realm where he faces I received this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for a fair reviewThis WWII meets sci-fi story is very much in the tradition of H Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter series, and indeed draws on a theme going much further back in legends and sagas. You can also point to similar themes in many works include those of HG Wells and CS LewisThe hero (here accompanied by a band of followers, here in the guise of a WWII bomber crew) is pulled into a mysterious realm where he faces challenges, falls for the “princess” and encounters tricksters and in the end must make hard choices to fulfil his “quest”. All of which leaves him unable to quite fit in either “world”.In the course of his adventures we have some engaging set piece sections from war-time air battles to unrelentless sci-fi creatures. This is not a surprise given the authors both have connections to film industry – indeed some of the sections would perhaps work better on screen. This may be particularly true of the surreal, “deus ex machina” sequence which didn’t particularly work on the page and didn’t leave me with a clear idea of what the “monster” had been protecting.There are plenty of “twists” along the way, although some are predictable because of the story telling traditions drawn on. However, some, especially one towards the end are cleverly put together and the clues are all in the story when you look back.Beyond the action set pieces, this book is strongest where it looks at people’s relationship with technology and this is the subtlest part of the story telling. From getting the plane in the air at the start to the final denouements we see people who have both symbiotic or problem-solving relationships, to those who are effectively in thrawl to it. The idea of coxing limping technology along and generations of engineers signing their work are great images that feed into this key theme and are well handled.For those like me, who read a lot of si-fi and fantasy – a warning, there is a frustrating element in the ending that left me muttering about paradoxesThis is an easy read on the whole and the story carried me along but not one I will particularly remember.
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  • Maryellie
    May 29, 2017
    An excellent book! I could not put it down and read it all at once. Thank you for the wonderful journey.
  • Jane
    May 8, 2017
    I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.2.5 stars (rounded up to 3)This was a weird book. I don't really know how to categorize it. The book is set during WWII and follows a group of men that crew a B-17 bomber. They are flying a mission over Germany when the plane is sucked into another dimension. The crew is stuck in a decaying world between two groups of last survivors. Their plane is confiscated by one group and the men are rescued by the other. T I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.2.5 stars (rounded up to 3)This was a weird book. I don't really know how to categorize it. The book is set during WWII and follows a group of men that crew a B-17 bomber. They are flying a mission over Germany when the plane is sucked into another dimension. The crew is stuck in a decaying world between two groups of last survivors. Their plane is confiscated by one group and the men are rescued by the other. Then there's the problem of a huge machine guarding the portal that seems to be alive. The rest of the book covers the crew's experience with this strange world and their attempt to recover their plane and return to the world they know. The first third of the book is bogged down by far too much detail about planes and their mechanics and operation. I'm sure that some people would enjoy these details, but I feel that they dragged the story down considerably. I found myself skimming huge sections of the book during this part of the story. Once the plane enters the new dimension, it picks up a bit, but still found myself skimming sections that got bogged down in too much detail. Some of the crew members were entertaining, but overall I found the story blah. I liked the interaction between Farley and one of the females from the other dimension, but I didn't really buy their instant love connection and undying love for each other. It just seemed forced and out of place.I guess this book is historical science fiction (Is that a thing?) because I can't think of any other way to describe it. It was just meh, and honestly, I couldn't wait to finish the book to just get it over with. All things considered, I'd pass on this book.
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  • Jen
    January 9, 2017
    What happens when you cross a World War II story with time travel and alternate timelines that are often prominent in science fiction? A result of such a mixing of elements is found in Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.As the crew of the Fata Morgana bomber flies over Europe on a mission to drop bombs in Germany in 1943, they encounter some strange electric energy and find themselves What happens when you cross a World War II story with time travel and alternate timelines that are often prominent in science fiction? A result of such a mixing of elements is found in Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.As the crew of the Fata Morgana bomber flies over Europe on a mission to drop bombs in Germany in 1943, they encounter some strange electric energy and find themselves transported to a vastly different looking world than the one they left. In a desolated and war-ravaged world where two technologically advanced groups are fighting against each other, the stranded bomber crew works with the the group that found them, headed by the woman none of them had ever met who just so happens to be painted on the nose of the Fata Morgana, to fix their bomber and try to get back to their own time and their war.An interesting take on an alternate history story with elements of time travel to provide a glimpse of what might have been. Some of the world-building of the future wasn't as strong or detailed as it could have been (or I would have liked) as it took a while to develop a moderate depiction of the situation. The many characters of the story were decently developed, which made it easy to envision them and root for their success. The wise-cracks the crew made were chuckle- and groan-worthy, but enjoyable nonetheless as it infused the more serious war-time narrative with some levity. The more abstract concept of the mortal and moral ramifications of actions taken during war and the possible technological advances were addressed in the culmination of the narrative, even if perhaps a little too conveniently.Overall, I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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  • Erich
    January 9, 2017
    A great bomber crew finds itself brought to another world and caught between ancient enemies. I saw this on NetGalley and grabbed an ARC when I read the description. The bomber crews' character development was spot-on and true to their (greatest) generation, but I was a little disappointed in the the off-world character development and world-building. I'll pass my pickiness off as reading too many good books with ancient civvies taking each other on, but I think most will enjoy this book's lands A great bomber crew finds itself brought to another world and caught between ancient enemies. I saw this on NetGalley and grabbed an ARC when I read the description. The bomber crews' character development was spot-on and true to their (greatest) generation, but I was a little disappointed in the the off-world character development and world-building. I'll pass my pickiness off as reading too many good books with ancient civvies taking each other on, but I think most will enjoy this book's landscape. The story is good; adds to the genre; isn't boring or lacking, and I agree with the publisher's description that it is very well-researched, which gives the reader the plausibility of what this crew would be up against, and how they'd have to get out of the jam that they're in.
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  • Neil
    March 12, 2017
    I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.Unfortunately I felt the plot lost its way once it moved into the future.This just was not for me.
  • Les
    February 11, 2017
    DISCLAIMER: Review copy from NetGalleyAn action-packed story that is part World War Two action adventure and part post-apocalyptic future sci-fi. Right from the start this book reads a lot like a film script and had what I felt was quite a young adult vibe to it. I'm certain that I would've enjoyed this a whole lot more as a 13 or 14 year-old, but this isn't meant as negative criticism, merely observation because the dialogue (aside from the very occasional profanity) did seem quite "youthy". Th DISCLAIMER: Review copy from NetGalleyAn action-packed story that is part World War Two action adventure and part post-apocalyptic future sci-fi. Right from the start this book reads a lot like a film script and had what I felt was quite a young adult vibe to it. I'm certain that I would've enjoyed this a whole lot more as a 13 or 14 year-old, but this isn't meant as negative criticism, merely observation because the dialogue (aside from the very occasional profanity) did seem quite "youthy". The WWII Europe backdrop is authentic and the characters are quite believable with a good measure of humor and banter among the central cast members. The more technical aspects such as the workings of the aircraft, weapons and other machinery seem very well researched. All of these things combine to set up a story that promises to be great fun.The book title itself is a fine clue as to the flavor of the story, the term Fata Morgana describes a mirage consisting of multiple images often seen suspended above the horizon, like parallel versions of the material world. The true central character is a Boeing B-17 bomber which carries this as her name, along with the image of a woman from the mind of her captain, as was the custom of naming and decorating one's aircraft. She becomes the vessel in which the story flies, but it's in no way a straight forward flight.The book starts off really well, and the opening chapters are easily my favorite part, joining a USAAF B-17 bomber crew leading up to a fateful daylight bombing raid over Germany. In the lead up to the mission we get introduced to the central cast and the previously mentioned banter here is great fun. We learn of the challenges faced by these brave fliers during the course of their work, and the scene is set of battle-filled skies over Europe where things sometimes tend to get a little weird. On the mission itself, the bomber encounters trouble and this leads to them being completely transferred to another world. It is here where things get super strange, and also the part of the book there I had to fight to keep up. I attribute most of this to my advance reader copy being quite poorly formatted, thus the text didn't flow well. After backtracking numerous times (which became frustrating) I gleaned enough to know what was going on, but the story gets quite "trippy" in places and it was especially in these spots where I struggled. There's a bit of a love story woven in among the action as well, and while I thought that this would put me off, it actually didn't and it's place is very necessary to the overall plot of the book. The scenes are filled with future technology and gadgets, and another fun part is seeing how early 20th century characters react to and interact with these things. Events unfold at a fair old rate and the book comes to a generally satisfactory conclusion.I was particularly taken by the overall plot, due to my fascination with WWII-era German technology, which was often hugely speculative and many years ahead of anything else at that time. That idea is central to this story, the Nazis developing technology that would change the course of history and mankind's ultimate destiny. It took me a longer than normal period of reflection after finishing this to fully embrace the full extent of the story, again because of my difficulty in following the words for a large chunk of the book. But after I had thought about things for a while, I found myself more satisfied than I was immediately after finishing.Overall, Fata Morgana is a fun speculative story with lots of cool elements and action scenes, the entertainment value only let down by what I thought was a confusing delivery, which would probably be fixed by editing. It would make an incredible and visually stimulating movie, which is what I think it could be destined to become.5/5 for concept2/5 for delivery3/5 for entertainment= 3.3 out of 5
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  • John Purvis
    June 10, 2017
    “Fata Morgana” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Steven R. Boyett (http://www.steveboy.com) and Ken Mitchroney. Mr. Boyett has published six novels and this is the first for Mr. Mitchroney. I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set during World War II. Captain Joe Farley and his B-17 crew are on a bombing mission over Germany. While “Fata Morgana” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Steven R. Boyett (http://www.steveboy.com) and Ken Mitchroney. Mr. Boyett has published six novels and this is the first for Mr. Mitchroney. I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set during World War II. Captain Joe Farley and his B-17 crew are on a bombing mission over Germany. While trying to avoid pursuing German fighters, they fly through an odd storm and end up in another place and time. A desolated world with two groups of humans at war with each other. Farley and his crew struggle to survive. They fall in with one group of humans, but must struggle on their own to regain their aircraft and try to find their way back home. Farley meets the beautiful Wennda, who is mysteriously the girl of his dreams that is depicted on his plane’s nose art. Farley and his crew struggle to make it home, fighting the humans they encounter on the desolate world as well as autonomous weapons which attack anyone caught in the open. Will the crew survive? Will they be able to get back to their England? What will happen to the lovely Wennda?I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 329 page Science Fiction novel. I did have a little trouble as to why the humans found on this desolate world spoke understandable English. An explanation was given but it was a weak one in my opinion. Ignoring that detail I thought that this was an interesting story. I wasn’t a fan of all the wisecrack responses that the crew gave to one another and their new allies. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5. Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/.
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  • Roger Ball
    July 13, 2017
    Best SF I've read in a long, long time.Two of my favorite reads just collided in a fantastic SF novel. I love to read good WWll novels, both fiction and non-fiction, just as much I love really good SF. That is, when the characters are well written and their personalities draw you into the story and make you care. This can happen when a good historical scholar and writer such as Stephen Ambrose weaves the lives and personalities of real people and happenings into great stories. This can also happ Best SF I've read in a long, long time.Two of my favorite reads just collided in a fantastic SF novel. I love to read good WWll novels, both fiction and non-fiction, just as much I love really good SF. That is, when the characters are well written and their personalities draw you into the story and make you care. This can happen when a good historical scholar and writer such as Stephen Ambrose weaves the lives and personalities of real people and happenings into great stories. This can also happen when great SF authors do it with fictional characters and worlds, weaving them into a story with action and thought provoking conjecture. These authors have done such a fantastic job of creating believable characters straight out of a WWll movie and weaving them into a future apocalyptic world filled with page turning action. I was initially worried this would be a bad version of "The Final Countdown" in reverse and characters written like the worst of the old WWll movies. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong! Any glaring issues or holes in the narrative? Maybe one that struck me half way but it can be easily set aside or overlooked because the story line pushes you along so well. Gritty and humorous at times, touching and thought provoking at others. Hard to put down.I highly suggest reading. It's a winner.
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  • Michael
    June 26, 2017
    I snagged this book for free on my Kindle through NetGalley. When I started it I thought it was going to be some sort of historical fiction novel, but after finishing it I would say it's a blend of historical fiction and science fiction. The plot revolves around a young group of B-17 bomber crewmen and the author really nails the time period and American slang used among young soldiers in the war. The crew each have noticeable personalities which made it easy to feel like I was hanging out with I snagged this book for free on my Kindle through NetGalley. When I started it I thought it was going to be some sort of historical fiction novel, but after finishing it I would say it's a blend of historical fiction and science fiction. The plot revolves around a young group of B-17 bomber crewmen and the author really nails the time period and American slang used among young soldiers in the war. The crew each have noticeable personalities which made it easy to feel like I was hanging out with "the guys" as their conversations danced across the pages. The author had me laughing in the opening paragraphs and then at periods throughout the rest of the book. The story keeps you guessing as the mysteries of the "other world" unfold, and the author does an excellent job weaving a tale of mystery and adventure. I was pleasantly surprised at how good this book was as I'd never heard of this author, and I'm not generally a fan of historical fiction. It's hard to write much more about it without spoiling it for a future reader. I'll just say by the latter half of the book I was swiping pages (Kindle) with excitement to figure out what would happen next.
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  • Bradley Flower
    June 29, 2017
    I really liked the book..... BUT.....The part of the book that takes place in WWII was great, well detailed, and painted a great picture of B-17 bombing runs over Germany, actually made me feel as if I was right in the run... Flak bursting around, pinging off the body of the bomber.And then the future happens....And it fizzles, the author could have done a better job of telling the story in the future tense, rather than focusing on how much the entire air crew was smoking. A bunch of questions w I really liked the book..... BUT.....The part of the book that takes place in WWII was great, well detailed, and painted a great picture of B-17 bombing runs over Germany, actually made me feel as if I was right in the run... Flak bursting around, pinging off the body of the bomber.And then the future happens....And it fizzles, the author could have done a better job of telling the story in the future tense, rather than focusing on how much the entire air crew was smoking. A bunch of questions were in my head, and was waiting for them to be answered, but most were left unanswered. The entire Terminus scene was a complete confusing mess and I think the future portion of the book was flat.Then....Back to the past, and the entire book perked back up, and ended about what I expected. I would recommend this book, but do not expect the future to be good.
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  • D. Messing
    July 19, 2017
    Oh, my goodness......I don't even know where to start with this utterly phenomenal story. This has firmly fixed itself at the top of my Top Five list for any book I've ever read. The utter attention to detail, the sheer amount of details in every scene, and the authors true skill with word craft absolutely brings this to life in a way that is rarely found. It was like watching a movie while reading a book. I loved the mix of true historical, sci-fi, dystopian, and fantasy. It blended seamlessly Oh, my goodness......I don't even know where to start with this utterly phenomenal story. This has firmly fixed itself at the top of my Top Five list for any book I've ever read. The utter attention to detail, the sheer amount of details in every scene, and the authors true skill with word craft absolutely brings this to life in a way that is rarely found. It was like watching a movie while reading a book. I loved the mix of true historical, sci-fi, dystopian, and fantasy. It blended seamlessly together in a way that these genres usually don't, while at the same time each keeping its separate identity. I'd started this as filler while waiting for other works to be finished, and very quickly, within say, two chapters the other stories were moved to the back burner while I devoured this one. This is a beautiful story, and I thank you for the privilege of reviewing it!!
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  • Joseph Carano
    June 15, 2017
    I won a hardcover copy on Goodreads and got through this excellent piece of writing in a couple of days. A World War Two bomber and it's crew get shot into the future and try to make things right in this science fiction story with alot of historical military background in play.Very good plot, characters and pacing make this a must read for fans of these genres.
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  • arthur w watson
    June 16, 2017
    Great readThis was very interesting book mixing action danger time travel and the big question of what if . What if you could change the future what would you do about it. very god story and it gives a very detailed explanation of how a bomber crew works together you could almost imagine being there . Will look for other stuff by the author
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  • John
    July 16, 2017
    The first part of the book about the bomber crew in WW II was very good. The authors obviously did their homework and understood what it was like to fly daylight raids into Germany in a B-17. The last 2/3rds of the book that is set in the alternative world is not so good.
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  • Richard
    July 19, 2017
    I liked this stand alone novel. It includes time travel, alternate universes, war, love, comradeship and is told in an exciting way.Write more please.
  • A Fantasy Muse
    January 17, 2017
    You can find all my reviews at: http://www.afantasymuse.com"Fata Morgana" by Ken Mitchroney and Steven R Boyett Not sure if it was just the copy I had or how my Kindle e-reader handled the file, but there was some formatting errors with my copy. There would be a couple words and then it would drop the to the next line and finish the sentence. Other than that formatting error occasionally the e-book was fine. A story about a WW II bomber going into some sort of parallel universe, Wow! How can you You can find all my reviews at: http://www.afantasymuse.com"Fata Morgana" by Ken Mitchroney and Steven R Boyett Not sure if it was just the copy I had or how my Kindle e-reader handled the file, but there was some formatting errors with my copy. There would be a couple words and then it would drop the to the next line and finish the sentence. Other than that formatting error occasionally the e-book was fine. A story about a WW II bomber going into some sort of parallel universe, Wow! How can you go wrong with a synopsis like that. That is what originally drew me to this story. I really liked the sound of what the story was about. The cover art is nice, and to be honest, I've never heard of the authors, but the story description sounded awesome. This book had some exciting sequences throughout the story. The opening scene is an in late out early type scenario and are tossed directly into battle. It is an exciting scene though and really got me into the mood of the story. I had a sense of being in the battle and what would be going on around me if I had been there. The description here was done very well. The characters are introduced one by one, but that is where I ran into some issues. Many of the characters were introduced, but were called by different names all during the same scene. I had trouble keeping up with who was saying what because I couldn’t figure out whose name was whose from previous scenes. I think that the character tags could have been shored up and tightened up a bit and it would of helped the story flow a little bit smoother for me. One minor thing that kind of bugged me was when a couple of the chapter breaks happened. I think that it would have been a good transition into a new scene, but the hard break left the story feeling weird for some reason. One example would be the backstory of Martin on the Ill Wind. There was a hard chapter break and then it went into the backstory. To me it would of felt more natural to just read a scene break and keep going. Sometimes the description became too much for me. I would just start skimming through paragraphs that described in a lot of detail. There were also a lot of military terms used and thrown around that I didn't understand because I was never in the military. The use of so much military terminology kind of broke the flow of reading, sort of like a speed bump. The first part of the book just went on too long for my tastes. It was a military story for the first 30% of the book. Then it started to delve into the fantasy aspect of the book. I was hoping this book would be much more fantasy from the get go. I understand having to build up to the scene where they cross over, but I think it could have been done with much less. Overall, the story was ok. The writing was not bad, but wasn't great. It occupied some time for me, but didn't leave any lasting impressions on me. I was provided a free ARC by Netgalley for an honest review.
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  • Qazwsx
    January 18, 2017
    This book is a like a really long twilight zone episode involving an (view spoiler)[ alternate universe, time travel, dragons, a B-17, (hide spoiler)]and good old American gumption.A thoroughly enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to the illustrated version!
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