4 out of 4 stars
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Just like how the midnight sun refuses to set in Alaska, you'll find yourself unable to put Eric Auxier's The Last Bush Pilots down even in the middle of the night. Despite the harsh cold of its setting, this book brings a heartwarming adventure anyone would surely enjoy.
Daniel Christopher "DC" Alva is about to lose hope of his career going up when he receives a phone call from his best friend, Allen, telling him to come down to Alaska for a flying job. With a promise of new adventures and rich experiences, DC finds it hard to refuse the offer. However, there is one thing that makes flying different in Alaska: Mother Nature can beat any pilot no matter how experienced they are. Questions and feelings of uncertainty suddenly hit DC. Will he be able to survive until the summer? Will he get out of this job alive? Will this be a stepping stone for his career? Or will it be the downfall he dreaded the most? Considering it's too late to back out, DC accepts the challenge, packs his bags, and breathes in the cold Alaskan air for the first time.
This book grows on you as you continue to turn the pages. At first glance, it may not seem appealing, especially if you're not interested in planes and a pilot's life. However, as the story progresses, there is this unknown force that reels you in towards the pages. The characters and the story itself will slowly find their way into your heart, making you unable to let go and put down the book.
One aspect I really liked was the author's writing style. The conversations were charming and humorous. The descriptions were vivid enough to make you feel as if you were there in Alaska. From the smell of the pine trees to the majestic skies, everything was written exquisitely. I straightaway had this desire to go to Alaska and see everything myself after reading the book. Even the flying sessions were described in details that I didn't find confusing or tedious. The author made sure that everyone, even someone who has no idea of how planes work, would find such topics interesting and easy to understand.
Additionally, the characters were well-written: the author didn't just write them—he gave them life. After introducing the characters in the story, their backstories then followed in the succeeding chapter. I found this feature remarkable; considering it didn't only give depth to the characters, but it also made them relatable and likable. Some books tend to oversell some backstories, but I didn't feel it on this one. The flow of the story was not interrupted, and it enriched the plot as well.
In all honesty, I was saddened when I reached the last page of The Last Bush Pilots. It was an incredible masterpiece that touched my heart, and it was a pity that such a pleasant experience has to end. I found nothing that I disliked about the book; everything, down to its last detail, was engaging and fascinating. There were few errors such as wrong punctuations and lack of commas, but they didn't affect the quality of the book. One might not even notice these errors if they weren't looking for it. Thus, I give it a 4 out of 4 stars rating.
I'd personally like to recommend this to anyone finding a good book worthy of their time. Also, if you are into character-driven books, then this is perfect for you. Though this story has action scenes, I don't think it would be satisfying for those who prefer action-packed novels. There are some explicit scenes involved, so this might not be suitable for children and teens.
Lastly, I give you one of my favorite lines in the book:
"You've got to learn to fall. If you don't, the fear alone will paralyze you."
The Last Bush Pilots
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