Book Review: Fata Morgana by Steven R Boyett & Ken Mitchroney

Love, war and duty across the reach of time

FataMorganaAbout the Book

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world. Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder – and finds a love seemingly decreed by fate – as his bomber becomes a pawn in a centuries-old conflict between remnants of advanced but decaying civilizations. Caught among these bitter enemies, a vast power that has brought them here for its own purposes, and a terrifying living weapon bent on their destruction, the crew must use every bit of their formidable inventiveness and courage to survive.

Book Facts

  • Format: Hardback
  • Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
  • Publication date: 13th June 2017
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

To purchase Fata Morgana from Amazon.co.uk, click here (link provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme)

Find Fata Morgana on Goodreads


My Review

The first section of the book is a terrifically exciting account of a B17 bomber raid over Germany in World War 2 that has a real sense of authenticity. It’s here we are first introduced to the wise-cracking but close-knit crew of the Fata Morgana, led by Captain Joe Farley. Suddenly, however, from WW2 historical fiction, the book mutates into science fiction as the aircraft and its crew is transported through some kind of vortex into a seemingly alien world.

Bomber

They find themselves and their stricken plane in a bleak, desolate landscape where two competing cities are all that remains after a global apocalypse. Given shelter by one of the cities, the crew are introduced to the inhabitants’ advanced technology but, in a nice twist, they are still able to use their 20th century skills to solve some problems. The world they encounter has an unfamiliar social structure where, from necessity, both sexes perform equal roles, including combat.  This is just one of the nods (sometimes rather signposted) to the changes brought about by WW2 in the real world.

Conveniently the inhabitants of the new world speak English although there are some amusing exchanges as they are introduced to the crew’s American idioms. For example this conversation between Farley and Wennda, the woman he finds himself attracted to and senses some strange connection with.

Farley scratched beneath his crush cap. “Look, I’ll level with you, okay?”
“Okay”, she said. “Whatever levelling with me means.”
“It means I’ll be honest.”
“Have you not been?”
“No, I’ve been straight with you.”
“Is that the same as being level?”
“You’re making my head hurt.”

I won’t spoil it by explaining much more of what happens but the whole thing is a glorious mash-up of The Twilight Zone, The Flight of the Phoenix and The Time Machine (not so much the H G Wells book as the 1960 film starring Rod Taylor).

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It’s well-written, funny, with plenty of action and I really enjoyed it. I found the ending quite touching.

I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers, Blackstone Publishing, in return for an honest review.

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In three words: Exciting, original, entertaining

Try something similar…The Time Machine by H. G. Wells


About the Authors

StevenRBoyettSteven R. Boyett is the author of Ariel, Elegy Beach, Mortality Bridge, Fata Morgana (with Ken Mitchroney) & numerous stories, articles, comic books and screenplays. As a DJ he’s played clubs, conventions, parties, Burning Man, and sporting events, and produces two of the world’s most popular music podcasts: Podrunner & Groovelectric. Steve’s also been a martial arts instructor, professional paper marbler, advertising copywriter, proofreader, typesetter, writing teacher and Website designer and editor. He also plays the didgeridoo and composes electronic music.

KenMitchroneyKen Mitchroney’s film and television credits include director, head of story, director of photography, and storyboard artist on Storks, The Lego Movie, The Ant Bully, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., The Annoying Orange Show, Mighty Magiswords, and more. His comic illustration includes Ren & Stimpy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Myth Conceptions, and creating the influential Space Ark.  He is an official artist for the Ed “Big Daddy” Roth estate, and official illustrator for the Oakland Athletics and at one time the Baltimore Orioles. He is currently involved with the restoration of the Ward Kimball collection at the Southern California Railway Museum in Perris, California.  Mitchroney has been a professional race-car driver and pinstriper, and restores and runs vintage locomotives. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles.

Connect with Steven & Ken

Steven’s website http://www.steveboy.com/
Ken’s Goodreads author page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/301072.Ken_Mitchroney

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