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DragonFly (Missions of the DragonFly…
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DragonFly (Missions of the DragonFly Squadron) (Volume 1)

by Charles A Cornell

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I really enjoy stories written around the world wars. However, this is the first story I’ve read that combines the historical elements of WWII with Science Fiction/Fantasy elements of engineering and a little magic.

Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Somerset, an RAF pilot, is sent to Enysfarne, a Navy coastal outpost.

”The castle of Enysfarne was a dark and towering force that hovered over what was left of my innocence. It contained my destiny, of that I had no doubt whatsoever; a fate that threatened to wipe the blush off my face and turn me into the man my father always wanted me to be.” - Pilot Officer Ronnie Somerset.

The station Commander has already written her off as a scatterbrain female and of no use to them.

”There may be a shortage of pilots but if it was up to me, I wouldn’t let you fly a kite for the Royal Navy!” - Station Commander Commodore K C Lowndes

However, when the situation becomes desperate Ronnie and her two best friends, also accomplished pilots, are given the opportunity to prove their worth and take the three DragonFly planes into battle.

Ronnie proves herself as a top pilot and a great female lead – asserting herself at all the right times.
Ronnie and her co-pilot Dr Nigel Pennbridge, creator of the DragonFly, have a great chemistry and I applaud Cornell for not pushing their partnership into a romance.

Planes, their workings and aerial combat figure highly in this reimagining of WWII with metal wasps, planes that run on water, telepathy, cyborgs and druids this is a highly recommended read for both WWII and Science Fiction fans alike.

”It’s magic”, I said. “Not magic, Ronnie. Science.” - Dr Nigel Pennbridge. ( )
  Ronnie293 | May 2, 2017 |
This is a thrilling, adventure ride through a 're-imagined DieselPunk version of World War II. This is the story of Veronica 'Ronnie' Somerset a woman pilot trying to make it in a man's world. She's sent to what she believes is a banishment but turns out to be her best opportunity. Ronnie not only gets to fly a prototype plane the DragonFly but flies combat missions, but is able to travel on a dangerous mission where she discovers a strength and skill she didn't know existed within it. While speeding through the novel; which you can't help but read almost as fast as the DragonFly; I was able to feel Ronnie' s love of country and her belief that Britain must survive at any cost. While this was a fantasy novel the horrors of the actual War resonates in this book and you can imagine that if the technology (or magic as Ronnie calls it) had been available Hitler's army would have performed such atrocities. The illustrations only helped make the book that much more believable. ( )
  mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
DragonFly isn't a book I would typically go for, but I'm really glad that I read it. This book mixes an alternate WWII historical fiction with science fiction and a bit of steampunk.

Veronica Somerset is an RAF pilot trying to navigate the male dominated military. She is an experience pilot and would like to fly in combat instead of boring mail routes. When Ronnie is assigned to Enysfarne Naval Base in Cornwall, she finally gets a chance to prove herself. Engineer Nigel Pennbridge has discovered a crystalline, quadra-hydrogen fuel system with strange crystals that only seem to be at Enysfarne. With this new technology, Nigel has built the DragonFly, a plane that has the ability to win the war for the British against HItler's sorcerers and mechanically enhanced warriors.

DragonFly begins with action and may seem to be like any WWII novel, Veronica's train is being attacked on her way to the Naval base. Right away we get to see her bravery and intuition in a combat situation. I was very pleased that there is a female pilot as the main character and her story is not dominated by romance, but action and heroism. Ronnie proves herself over and over as a good pilot and good soldier throughout the story. The alternate history and science fiction aspects of DragonFly were really different and kept me reading. All of the new types of planes were interesting (the pictures helped with this!) as well as the crystal technology that fueled the DragonFly. The Druidism and Sorcery inclusion made for a nice spin and managed to make Hitler and the Nazi's even more terrifying. ( )
  Mishker | Aug 29, 2014 |
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