Title: Ghost Flight
Author: Bear Grylls
Publication Date: 4 June 2015
Haunted by his wife and son’s brutal abduction and murder, ex-soldier Will Jaeger runs to the ends of the earth to recover and to hide. But even there he is found, and compelled to undertake one last mission, and to confront a savage past he can barely even remember.
Jaeger agrees to lead an expedition into the Mountains of the Gods in the remote Amazon jungle. At the dark heart of this real life Lost World lies a mystery WWII warplane, one that harbours a secret so explosive its very discovery may tear the world asunder. Terrifying forces are hell-bent on keeping the warplane forever hidden. Unwittingly, Will Jaeger is going in against them.
But as Jaeger joins a team of former elite warriors – including ice-cool Russian operator Irina Narov – he senses that the air wreck also harbours the answer he so longs to uncover: the identity of his wife and son’s murderers.
Hair-raising adventure, an extreme survival quest and a shocking mystery reaching back into the horrors of Nazi Germany.
I went into this book with no real expectations at all. I picked it up solely because it had Bear Grylls’ name on the front and I thought that he would have some crazy stories to tell, but I had no idea whether he was any good as a fiction writer. Having finished the book, I am pretty pleased with my pick because Bear Grylls actually wrote an interesting and gripping thriller that has left me wanting more.
Ghost Flight is the thriller debut of Bear Grylls and follows Ex-British soldier Will Jaeger. Haunted by the disappearance of his wife and son, Jaeger is hiding out in Africa when he is tasked to lead an expedition into the Amazon jungle to retrieve a WWII plane that had been hidden for seventy years. The closer Jaeger gets to the plane and the secrets it is holding inside, the more convinced he becomes that it has something to do with why his family is missing.
The general idea of the book really intrigued me. I’m not usually overly interested in WWII or Nazi stories but Grylls has an interesting take that questions whether WWII actually ended the way we thought it did. The plot was a real surprise and a lot deeper than I was expecting from the book. The book also contains all the things you do expect like short chapters that keep the book flowing, survival expertise and a lot of action and adventure.
Probably my favourite thing about Ghost Flight are that there are little Bear Grylls touches littered throughout the book. Jaeger and his team get up to all sorts of things that you imagine Bear Grylls probably does in his spare time, like fighting massive caimans, parachuting down waterfalls and enjoying a roast monkey dinner with a previously uncontacted native Amazon tribe. Also, I got much more enjoyment that I probably should have when Jaeger drank his own urine.
There was only one small letdown for me in the book and that is the characters. Most of the characters are pretty cliché and that made it harder for me to connect with them. There’s the big crazy Maori, the seductive and vibrant Latina, the ice-cold but stunningly attractive Russian and prideful Japanese man. Even the main character Will Jaeger was a little too perfect for my tastes, but he is still a very interesting character that I do want to see again.
I have to point out here that Ghost Flight ends with one of the biggest cliffhangers that I have ever seen in a book. While it is a complete story in its own right, it is the first half of a much bigger story that continues in Grylls’ next book Burning Angels which is expected out in June. Be prepared that if you do finish Ghost Flight, you’re not going to able to just stop there.
Worth a read? If you’re a fan of Bear Grylls’ television shows, then Ghost Flight is definitely worth a read. Jaeger really feels like he is based pretty heavily on Grylls and it has the same sort of wild adventure feel. It’s also worth a read if you have an interest in WWII or Nazi stories because Grylls throws up an interesting take on the end of WWII.