Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review of Hornet Flight by Ken Follett

Review of Hornet Flight
By Ken Follett
Product Details 
Hornet Flight is a fast-paced WWII spy thriller that centers on the adventures of Harald Olufson, an industrious, self-sacrificing Danish youth of eighteen, and a classic Scandinavian blond with an ingrained love of tinkering with engines and getting things to work. It is this particular characteristic that drives the story forward. Harald is about to undertake a serious mission for the Allies that will have serious repercussions for the war effort. Harald must deliver sensitive photos of an ultra-secret German radar tower located on the Jutland Peninsula to England by flying a dusty, broken-down old Hornet Moth biplane across the North Sea. And all without flying lessons. Along the way, we meet many interesting, well-developed characters such as Reverend Olufson, his stern Evangelical Lutheran father, Peter Fleming, the fascist and frustrated police detective, and Hermia Mount, the courageous MI6 operative who is also in love with Harald's brother.

At times, the action is told through the point of view of Harald, other times, it is throught the lens of Peter Fleming or Hermia Mount, giving us greater insight into their characters. But there is no question that the readers are pulling for Harald, who is a hero right up to the end. The action sequences are pure Follett, riveting and breath-taking. We experience undercover police surveillances all across Denmark, police interrogations, dangerous flight sequences, and the riveting power struggles between Harald and his father, Harald and Peter, and Harald and his female counterpart, the Danish-Jewish ballerina, Karen Duchwitz. But readers are also introduced to the brave men and women of the Danish resistance, who made enormous sacrifices to undermine the Nazi invaders and the sympathizers among them.

But above all, Hornet Flight is a testimony to the bravery of ordinary citizens who fought back against Fascism and refused to back down in the face of overwhelming odds. I wholeheartedly recommend "Hornet Flight" for its superb depiction of bravery under pressure, courage under fire, and love amidst the despair of war.

--Sophie Schiller

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