Paul Hansen has created a cleaver and inventive story. As an experienced private pilot, Hansen knows his airplanes. In fact, this novel is very much in the Tom Clancy style and the hardware is one of the major characters in this visionary tale. When Joe Star, a 17 year old Ute reservation Indian, finds himself aboard an alien spaceship and learns that he is their progeny –a half breed in the truest sense-he is the Sky Warrior.
The novel is skillfully executed and the backstories are woven through character recollections. Hansen describes in detail, mostly through flash-backs, the extensive flight training Joe is subjected to as a recruit for the Army Air Corps at the start of the Second World War. As a former student pilot, this reviewer can attest to Hansen’s thorough syllabus. Thoughts of renewing my pilot license briefly flourished.
The style is primarily narrative with limited dialog in the first half of the book. Those scenes with dialog are believable and move the story forward effectively. The scene of a grieving Nelson family, following the funeral service of wife and mother BJ, was particularly emotionally charged. Another well written sensitive scene when Sally and Brian confess their mutual attraction is memorable.
The Kindle edition, which the author kindly provided to this reviewer, would be more “user friendly” if it had a Table of Contents linked to the individual chapters. The reader’s movement around the story is inhibited without this feature. Speaking of negative reactions to the SKY WARRIORS, there were few, but a five-star award was squandered by repetitive references to so many flying/piloting minutia. Sometimes less is more. But the debut novel from author Paul Hansen earns a strong four-star rating in this reviewer’s opinion. I offer a hearty recommendation to all thriller/sci-fi/fantasy readers in addition to flying enthusiast.