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Mission M.I.A.: A Novel (1982)

by J. C. Pollock

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I have not read many books based on war events. In fact, the only one that comes to mind is Code: Polonaise (by Eva-Lis Wuorio), a story about some Polish children making an escape from Nazis. But, that is a story for another time.

Mission MIA is set just after the Vietnam war and is a horse of a totally different color. The focus is on a POW who was forgotten by his government, and the daring rescue effort by his family and friends left behind.

The story takes a very practical and human tone, full of action and excitement without being bloody. There are horrifying moments of prisoners being tortured and kept in terrible conditions, but even these felt more like necessary statements instead of gorified thriller scenes.

I really enjoyed how the story was both complicated and easy to read. Details of military theory and equipment helped paint a complete picture without being boring, and all of the tangled character interactions were followed to a satisfying conclusion without becoming jumbled. Even the plot added a good twist or two to the linear story (friend in trouble, rescue friend, joyful reunion).

Some people may shy away from the war genre for fear of being overloaded with depressing scenes and gratuitous blood letting. I would recommend Mission MIA to someone as a gentle introduction to war based stories. That being said, I was pointed to the book by an avid reading of all things war related. So, everyone should give it a read!
  areinh | Dec 8, 2010 |
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