ARC Book Review: Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney
angela | 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. Climb aboard and hold on tight for this cinematic, meticulously researched adventure that’s part Band of Brothers, part James Cameron movie, part Casablanca, and 100% edge-of-the-seat breakout thriller.
Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney’s Fata Morgana is an excellent genre-crossing adventure melding sci-fi, romance, and alt-history to create a great read. We meet our crew in the prologue as they crash land their damaged bomber on the shores of England after a harrowing bombing run, after which they receive their new plane: The B-17 Flying Fortess named “Fata Morgana”. Emblazoned with the image of a mysterious woman who haunts the dreams of Captain Joe Farley, the Fata Morgana is the epitome of technology for the time, designed to barrel through flak and anti-aircraft shots on its mission to bomb a Nazi weapons base. However, during their maiden flight, a mysterious interference causes them to be transported to a desolate world, where the survivors of a truly global war eke out a stark existence, battling each other and hiding from a war-machine called the Typhon.
I really enjoyed how the perspective moves between the crew members of the Fata Morgana, creating an almost 3 dimensional view around the plane as they maneuver through incredibly harrowing battle scenes! The depiction of aerial warfare is thrilling, edge-of-your seat stuff.
The authors use brief interjections to really emphasize and reorient impactful moments experienced by the crew members. This creates interesting tableaus, but are sometimes a little disruptive to the flow of the story. The authors’ experiences writing for film and television is really well-applied, as the whole book has a very cinematic quality. However, after digesting the book for a while, certain elements felt a little shallow. For example, depictions of the mysterious device the Typhon guards didn’t really hit home for me, as the descriptive elements overwhelmed the point of what it was actually supposed to be. As well, the romantic plot, though emotional, didn’t really have much depth, but relied instead on the (albeit clever) shorthand of the painted plane to lend it significance (not to give too much away).
These few shortcomings are nothing in the overall scheme of the book though. If you want a rollicking fun read with just enough romance and loss to create an emotional impact, then you’ve got that plus a really unique addition to the science fiction genre full of action, twists and turns! I give it 4.5 glasses of wine, because it packs a punch and made me want to keep reading!
today! june 13, 2017