Perhaps my disappointment in this work was because of an expectation -- that a scholarly work of this depth, after SO much has been written about these men before, would rightly reveal some new perspective or alternate interpretation of them. As such, I did not finish the book, although I did get as far as America's entry into World War II. No mention was made as to whether either Churchill or Roosevelt knew more about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, even if only to impeach such theories. I was begging for this book to tell me something outside what conventional historical records shows. The narration for this type of hisrical work was very "audible" and well read.
Full disclosure: I didn't finish this book. As other's have noted, this book is very technical. There's also a lot of background history, which is very well written, and easy to understand. So you can learn something from that. It starts off very well with WWI, and tells the stories of many pilots, but after that (I got as far as the start of WWII), there isn't much about the pilots themselves, which is what the title implies and what I was looking for. So, for what the book is — mostly history and technical details, it's excellent. But for what it ought to have been — more about the pilots — not so good.
To its credit, for a book of this length, the story and characters are well developed. I wasn't groping around to remember which role was played by the many characters. And the story was easy to track -- something that cannot be said for many novels of this type. However, it was incredibly slow, at least through the middle, which is as far as I could get. This book doesn't suffer from anything most fat novels suffer from -- overstuffed scenes, with lots of dialogue from peripheral characters, turned into long chapters that could have be drawn in a few short pages. I've read some contemporary submarine thrillers, like those from Michael DiMercurio, that sped along at a much more compelling pace. Cold choices is a good story that never quite took off.
If there's no part of you that appreciates superheroes, then this book may not be for you. Yet, it's a wonderful, entertaining and accessible way to teach science. I can easily imagine that it would be an excellent book for younger readers (although the book makes it clear that comics are not just for kids), who may be more current with super heroes, Even if you stripped away all super hero references, the authors' scienticfic descriptions easy to understand. What's more, it's evident that they have chosen superheroes and super powers that serve as a launching point for a wide range of scientifc topics.
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