The media calls it a “miracle” when air charter pilot Will Stewart survives an aircraft in-flight breakup. Still strapped to the pilot's seat after falling 500 feet at 140 mph, Will is discovered unconscious and nearly unharmed, except for a broken pelvis. Will has no memory of the accident or its cause, but discovers that his "miracle" pales beside the stunning after-effect of the accident -- when he awakes floating six feet above his hospital bed, and his body has vanished. After dismissing the experience as a hallucination, Will soon learns he can control it. Barely on his feet again, Will and his police sergeant wife Andy race to rescue an innocent child from a heinous abduction—if Will’s new ability doesn’t kill him first.
Seaborne’s crisp prose, playful dialogue, and mastery of technical details of flight distinguish the story, which proves especially engaging in its first half. The disorientation of a hospital stay is adeptly described and exploited for suspense, and Stewart’s first real solo flight (aided by model airplane parts) is a legitimate thrill, a surprising burst of inventive fun that captures—not for Divisible Man’s last time—the dazzling surge of a flying dream. The action set pieces, especially flying scenes, remain strong throughout the novel, but the eventual conflict (involving a conspiracy plot that entails kidnapping, pedophilia, and opioids) that tests Stewart and his new abilities proves familiar.
Still, this is a striking and original start to a series, buoyed by fresh and vivid depictions of extra-human powers and a clutch of memorably drawn characters, like Stewart’s wife, Andy, a cop comfortable with a glock and capable of shutting people down with “a 40-millimeter anti-aircraft glance.” Even more than flight, that relationship—and that crack prose—powers this thriller to a satisfying climax that sets up more to come.
Takeaway: This high-flying thriller sets a pilot in flight against crime—without need of a plane.
Great for fans of: Dale Brown, Ward Larsen.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
"Seaborne, a flight instructor and charter pilot, vividly evokes the world of charter airlines and those who populate them, particularly with his well-drawn character sketches. For example, he ably evokes the owner of Essex County Air Services, Earl Jackson, who sold his lucrative business and now “prefers to spend his days sitting in a tiny office crammed with maintenance manuals and pondering fuel purchases.” The book offers lots of information on aviation and law enforcement, but it’s nicely counterbalanced with warm human relationships, such as the one between Will and Andy. The novel’s latter half shows how Will’s practice sessions pay off, offering several satisfying outcomes."
"Well-written and engaging, with memorable characters and an intriguing hero."