Reader Reactions & Anecdotes

 

February 22, 2009

What the Critics Are Saying

Five star award on Google:

THE ACE is a Compelling Psychodrama and a Good Read
February 16, 2009
By Katzenmutti (Tampa Bay Area, FL)

In many ways, Jack Hunter’s latest novel, THE ACE, might be viewed as a “bookend” to his first published novel, THE BLUE MAX. Both novels deal with World War I, more specifically, its aerial combat. THE BLUE MAX is told from Germany’s point-of-view, while THE ACE comes from America’s perspective. While THE BLUE MAX depicts a longer span of aerial dog-fighting, THE ACE is set during the time before and after America joins the Great War. The United States, its armed forces and its government are desperately trying to prepare their country for the conflict they are joining — and for which their combat air forces are not yet prepared.

Hunter introduces four primary characters into this rich stew. Bill Carpenter is a cynical Army aviator who tries to hide his better instincts beneath a hard exterior and plenty of alcohol. Thaddeus Slater is a corrupt, striving congressman who has fought his way to a position of importance overseeing development of the fledgling air force programs. Mary Lou Whiting is a wealthy heiress who desperately wants to find love and meaning with someone who values her for herself and not her father’s fortune. Last of all is John King, a. k. a. Johann König, a young German-American who becomes a combat flier, risking his sanity in doing so.

Hunter manipulates his characters with great skill and psychological insight, uncovering the deep uncertainty, loneliness, insecurity, and even madness that lurk behind their bravado, scheming, acts of kindness and bravery, and brief attempts at love. His compelling characters, vivid descriptions and intimacy with the period’s history combine to produce a tale teeming with aerial warfare, political intrigue and complicated human emotions.

I heartily recommend THE ACE to anyone desiring an evening spent with a fascinating book.



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