Author: G Norman Lippert
Read Type: eARC
You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon (International)
You can find out more about the author on Amazon Author page, Facebook and his website
Henry Donner had heard of people avoiding a flight because of premonitions of doom, but he never suspected that the opposite may also be true: some people are drawn to a doomed plane because deep down, they hunger for the end.
Worse, it may be their collective, suicidal will that makes it happen.
Now, only as redeye flight two-ninety lifts off does Donner realize the truth: the airliner's final destination isn't New York, but oblivion, and he's the only one who can do anything about it-- if, that is, he can get past the demonic forces on board to watch it happen.
Norman Lippert’s novels have been read in the millions, with nearly
40,000 reviews on goodreads.com and an average 4-star rating. His first
self-published book, “The Riverhouse”, was a number two bestseller in
its genre on amazon.com. Specializing in a broad range of styles, from
young-adult and fantasy to adult horror and thrillers, his works are
hard to categorize, while all pointing toward the same underlying themes
of love, hope, and faith, even in the darkest of situations.
He currently lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.
Strong language: mild
Sexual content: implied
I received a free copy of this book in return for an unbiased review
Disclaimer: I have known this author personally for several years. I have seen their work grow and change over this time and enjoyed watching their journey. I have not let this affect my review, I have treated this book as if from a stranger to the best of my ability
Henry Donner is a man bogged down by guilt from his past yet trying to pave the way for his future. Or is he? Is there something deep inside his subconscious drawing him into the darkness?
Five months before, his partner was killed in a car crash with him at the wheel. He has questioned himself every day since, but now he believes he’s made a step into the future by booking an interview for a job in New York, well away from his current life and its bindings. As he arrives at the airport, however, he notices the departure lounge for the flight is largely empty despite the stewardess’s claims they are overbooked. Even as he watches he sees other people dash away from the plane for reasons they appear to have suddenly remembered. The other passengers appear in a trance, appearing hopeless and not paying attention to anything.
Once he’s on the plane, telling himself his unease is nothing but nerves about the interview and the uncertainty of moving forward in his life, Henry loses what control he had over his life when it becomes clear that this plane is not a normal plane heading for a normal destination. Once he’s in the air there’s no way to get off. There is a distinct, yet undefinable, wrongness to everything around him. He seems to be the only one who can see this. Can he overcome his own stagnation to protect himself and others?
Because it really is true, he thought. Some people do sense the bad juju of a doomed airplane. They sense it and they turn back. Like the woman in the white pantsuit. Or the mother of the college guy. Or like any number of the people missing from all those empty seats on this supposedly overbooked flight.
Set during the 80s, in the time of programmers using punch cards to do their work, this had a retro feel to it and works fluidly to draw the plot forward in a way that would be impossible if set in modern times. Despite the fact I wasn’t born until 91 I never felt at a loss or confused due to the time difference.
This book had a good, consistent pace giving the feeling of being drawn ever forwards, ever towards a destination that seems increasingly dark and dangerous, impossible to escape. As the story progresses it includes multiple flashbacks of Henry’s life, telling the story of what led him to this point. Some details of the past are given in extremely inventive methods, leaving both Henry and the reader wondering if he is hallucinating or if he really is hearing his deepest secrets from people who shouldn’t even know his name.
The writing reminded me of the style of Stephen King in The Green Mile in places. It had minor issues, but overall was a real page turner.
The book made good use of symbolism and imagery. I particularly enjoyed the use of metaphors, showing his distracted mind at some times, and the extreme clarity of the fight or flight instinct at others.
Monstrous shapes lumbered like dinosaurs, roaring with the constant drone of idling jet engines
The books supernatural elements are introduced slowly and subtly. At first they appeared to be merely coincidences or a case of being sat awkwardly next to the talkative stranger with shifty eyes. Once the plane is in the air though there is no question that he is not imagining this. I found the stewardesses to be particularly creepy, the standard plastic, polite smiles found on most people in these professions covered the darkness and danger that lurked in these women.
The book was light on dialogue, except for the flashbacks and internal monologue, leaving Henry completely isolated, with only his own will to lead him on the right path. This also left the reader with only his perspective to go by.
The contrasting themes of guilt and hope, unchangeable destiny and free will spun the tale nicely, always leaving you on your toes as to where the story would go next. I liked seeing his internal battle displayed so nakedly before us. This kept the story very human even when dealing with less than human element.
“Unlike everyone else on this plane, you persist in looking forward as well as back. You continue to believe in something called the future. Some place where you can outrun your guilt. Where hope is more than a foolish dream. Where you might still be able to find peace of mind, and even forgiveness.”
The ending was interesting and drew me in even more, always wondering what the truth was and who told it. It left a satisfied feeling of completion, yet many questions that were never quite answered. Questions that will keep you thinking in the quiet moments of the night. I didn’t see it coming, making it all the more enjoyable.
Time is just a carousel that goes round and round. It seems like an endless journey to the people on it, but it’s really a cycle, spinning and looping back over and over.
I thoroughly look forward to reading more from this author.
What would you do if you found yourself on a plane where you were the only one who didn’t want to die?
I loved the feel of this book from the start. The twisting themes of inevitability, your will alone being enough to make something happen, and the threads of hope and guilt that were bound so tightly together you could hardly pull them apart.
The writing was deep with metaphors yet read smoothly and makes you want to not put it down. At times the supernatural elements came in a little bit suddenly without full explanation, but patients and a couple more pages rewarded you with the light.
I give this book 4.5 stars, adjusted to 5 for reviewing purposes