The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

We all love to fly, right? Planes are the safest way to travel, right?

What if they aren’t?

That’s the question that this current book attempts to answer. One of the things I love most about Michael Crichton‘s books is the way he takes a simple question like the one above, attempts to answer it, and writes a book about “what if it all goes wrong?”

I’ve read Airframe multiple times, and I never get tired of it. First of all, Michael Crichton has so many books I love, but most of them are about obscure scientific concepts…maybe someone will eventually get taken over by nanites (Prey), or get shrunk to the size of an ant (Micro). But that’s not likely to happen in my lifetime or yours, so why worry?

Worry about planes, though, ya’ll. The scenario in this book could actually happen. That’s why I love it so much. It’s freaky in a real-world kind of way. Let’s take a look, shall we?

The Story

“SoCal Approach, this is Transatlantic 545. We have an emergency.”

The first communication coming from the plane is this. As far as anyone knew, the plane was running perfectly fine. A charter out of Hong Kong, staffed with Chinese, a superb pilot flying one of the safest planes in the world…so what went wrong?

Casey Singleton, a Vice President at Norton Aircraft, attempts to answer this question. Norton built the N-22 Widebody. Designed to last 20 years, and built to last twice that, the N-22 is considered the safest plane in the world.

“We encountered severe turbulence during flight. We have injuries of passengers and flight crew.”

First question: Why didn’t the pilot radio sooner? He was John Chang, a senior pilot. Why would he wait so long to report an emergency?

As Casey digs deeper into the mystery, she starts to discover other issues on top of the plane accident. Rumors flying around the plant about a sale that could cripple the company. A President who has no clue about anything he’s doing, and a man determined to make his mark. So what can she do?

Second question: What really happened to the plane?

For that answer, I guess you’ll just have to read the book. I can’t give away everything, now can I?

The Review

I’m pretty sure I mentioned above that I love Michael Crichton. I do. I’ve read most of his books, and seen most of the movies made from those books. I cried when he died. I love the voice he uses when he writes. He explains scientific concepts in such a way that laymen could understand, but that make the story no less entertaining. One of my favorite explanations is on chaos theory in Jurassic Park. It makes sense to me.

So why is a plane story more entertaining to me? Because it could actually happen. Plane crashes happen all the time. But the public never really gets to see the behind-the-scenes investigations into those crashes. This book remedies that. The reader gets to learn how those investigations take place, and how sometimes the answer isn’t the most exciting. But it’s about the journey, right? Not the destination. In this case, I think it’s all exciting. Casey is a really interesting character, even though she’s written a little 2-dimensional. Her interactions with the other characters are what make her interesting. The dynamic between her and her co-workers, the plant guys, and her boss, are all what make this story so exiting.

I wish I could give you my favorite snippets from the book, but in order to do that I’d have to actually type the entire thing out, and I don’t want to get in trouble….

Read the Book. I promise, you won’t regret it. Love thrillers? You’ll love this book. Love good characters? You’ll love this book. Add to your Goodreads TBR list today…you won’t regret it.

Have you read this book already? What did you think? Let me know below! Until next time, bookworms!

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