Sunday, April 8, 2012


Jack DuArte
Cloud 9 Press
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9847286-0-2
282 pages

In 1940 as Britain prepared to be attacked by the German forces near their entrance into World War II, a new type of weapon developed, the Spitfire. This aircraft was special. The Spitfire was perfect for defending against attack by enemy bombers by flying faster and higher while being able to shoot down enemy aircraft. This unique flying machine became a legendary plane through its outstanding performance during the Battle of Britain.

Anthony Nelson, an experienced pilot, quickly becomes a trainer pilot for the Spitfire in his squadron at Hornchurch Royal Air Force Station while still flying to protect his country. When his younger brother, Fletcher, becomes a part of this squadron at the base, Anthony is fearful of nepotism, but still wants his brother to feel supported while still maintaining his independence, a difficult balance to maintain.

When Anthony meets his brother’s fiancĂ©e, Prudence, he feels an attraction towards him. With loyalty to his brother, Anthony purposely avoids his strong feelings for her. Unfortunately, when Fletcher fails to return from a mission, he finally admits to Prudence his feelings. Now he is dealing with guilt in loving her and guilt for whatever has happened to him.

Spitfire is about real history and the phenomenal men who protected their country by performing numerous daring feats of accomplishments with this aircraft. Even though the fictional characters of the Nelson brothers and Prudence gave a glimpse into the actual life style of this time period, the actual flying events showed the reader what these courageous flyers experienced.

The triangular love story seemed simplistic and contrived. Even with the cliff-hanger ending, the story seems predictable. More characters needed to be involved with some overlapping incidents to make this a more realistic novel in terms of romance. Other characters were there peripherally, but could have been intermixed to make this more intriguing.

The life at Hornchurch was written masterfully. Between the training and the episodes of flying the Spitfires while protecting London and the coastal cities was well-researched and brilliantly penned. Jack DuArte succeeds in placing the reader directly in the shoes of the main character and having the same experiences with him.

Spitfire is the third installment in Jack DuArte’s World War II series following The Resistance, and Singapore. With his background as a former Air Force officer in Vietnam, he understands the military life and expertly uses his own experiences in his novels.

Spitfire tells a strong story about the life during this time as well as the challenges of those who flew these magnificent machines. Their own outstanding daring and bravery which ultimately won the war. I definitely look forward to more historical experiences from Jack DuArte.

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