Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Modern Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
SETTING: Modern-day Meryton, Texas
SERIES: Pride in Flight Book 1
SYNOPSIS: Captain Darcy receives a new assignment to train pilots on T-38s at the Meryton Air Force Base in Texas. While he isn’t a fan of the heat and the small-town atmosphere of Meryton, Darcy is happy to be a little closer to Georgiana and to also have the company of his friend Captain Charles Bingley at this new base.
Meanwhile, 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet, born and raised near the Meryton Air Force Base and an ardent lover of planes and flying, is getting read to begin her pilot training. She has known this is her future since she was eight and is eager to see her dreams come to fruition.
Both Darcy and Lizzy are devoted to flying and their careers and do not rate dating high on their list of priorities. But what happens when something unexpected starts to develop…
WHAT I LOVED:
- Air Force/Military Atmosphere: I thoroughly enjoyed this unique setting and atmosphere of this story, and I think the author did a marvelous job of capturing and representing various aspects of military life. Whether it was a pilot’s day-to-day activities, the special traditions and events they celebrate, or their experiences in the cockpit – the descriptions all felt authentic and meticulously researched.
- A Heroic Heroine: A Lizzy Bennet pursuing a career as a pilot in the US Air Force is pretty badass! Especially since women in this particular field are still a rarity. I loved this interpretation of Lizzy so much – she was intently focused, perhaps a little more serious than her natural wont, and passionate about her goals. I loved that she still had her lively spirit, wry sense of humor, loyalty to her loved ones, and yet at the same time, was a tenacious student pilot in training. Lieutenant Bennet is my hero!
- New Twists: I really enjoyed are the new conflicts and twists Ms. Dreyer has added to her story. Some of these twists include the future of Meryton Air Force Base, the complications of military relationships, and an alluded to past secret… I loved all these new developments and cannot wait to see how they all play out in the next book of these series!
- Captain Darcy: Fitzwilliam Darcy as a USAF pilot? *swoon* I enjoyed how Ms. Dreyer’s portrayal of Darcy didn’t focus on his haughtiness or prejudiced opinions, but instead accentuated other Darcy characteristics such as his serious reserve, fastidiousness, and as Colonel Fitzwilliam puts it his “lack of game when it comes to women.” Even though I thought Darcy’s feelings might have progressed a little too rapidly and wished for some more time in his head, I really enjoyed the background given about his character – I am hoping we see his character fleshed out more in the next book. 🙂
- The Little Touches: I greatly appreciated the endnotes and glossary (although in the print version there were no superscripts in the text.) These definitions and notes gave pertinent details to help readers not familiar with military/air force/pilot terminology, and I found it super helpful! I also loved the literary allusions hidden in the titles of each book! Such a clever idea!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Sometimes Forced: There were several instances where the Pride and Prejudice updates and parallels felt forced in this story. Sometimes it was small references like Mrs. Bennet mentioning twenty-four families, Caroline always wearing orange, and Senator Catherine de Bourgh being referred to as “Lady Catherine.” And sometimes it was larger parallels that maybe didn’t quite fit right with modern times, such as Georgiana’s history with Wickham and Darcy’s first proposal. I don’t think all these point-by-point parallels and tie-ins were needed. The characters and overall story arc gave enough of a Pride and Prejudice vibe to make it enjoyable for Jane Austen fans. And I personally preferred the author’s unique twists and developments of this tale over the Pride and Prejudice updates.
Even though this book ends with some loose threads hanging, I am thrilled that it is part of a series because I want to see more of these pilots and spend more time in their world! What a brilliant setting for a modern-day Pride and Prejudice! I cannot wait to see what happens between Lizzy and Darcy! And what about Meryton?!? And what did Mrs. Bennet mean about… 🤔 I am sure there is more turbulence ahead! 😀