DiscoverHistorical Fiction

EO-N

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Worth reading 😎

In a historical fiction book of intermingling stories, readers see horror, mystery, and a yearn to find connection with the main characters.

Synopsis

2019: Alison Wiley, a once-idealistic biotech CEO, is processing her new reality: she’s the last bud on the last branch of her family tree. On the heels of her mother’s illness and crushing death, a phone call from Scott Wilcox, a former combat medic turned government investigator, pulls her into a seventy-four year old mystery that begins beneath the surface of a Norwegian glacier.

1945: Squadron Leader Jack Barton, a cocky Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, flies combat missions over occupied Europe. Major Günther Graf, a war-weary and disillusioned Luftwaffe pilot, is trapped in the unspeakable horrors of Nazi Germany. Their paths, so different yet so similar, are connected by a young victim of appalling cruelty.

A story of love and loss, cruelty and kindness, guilt and redemption, EO-N's sweeping narrative takes readers on a riveting journey—from the destruction and cruelty of war to the relentless pressures of contemporary corporate greed—weaving together five seemingly separate lives to remind us that individual actions matter and that courage comes in many forms.

At the outset of this novel, we meet Alison Wiley whose life is heavy with sadness and loss. Her whole family has died for various reasons, and she is buried in work and the increasing demands of a horrible boss. When the big call to Norway comes through, she feels a sense of wonder pulling her to that location. Alongside the stories of other characters, readers are taken along a mystery that pieces together the findings in Norway.


From the beginning, I like how much mystery this book gives us. When we learn about Alison’s family, we are not given all the details and her life is given to us gradually. There are many times in the book where there are exciting moments that draw you in and make you sit on the edge of your seat. From some of the conversations, we also get snippets of deeper thinking about the need for connection that Alison wants above anything else. The slow unravelling of the details of the WWII storylines are a big reason why this book is so interesting.


While the multiple storylines are certainly necessary to make this book work as well as it does, I did find the pacing of the chapters to be odd. As soon as I was getting into one plotline, I would reach the end of the chapter. I would have liked to see more development in those stories so I could start making connections to Alison’s present more effectively. When new characters are added into the book nearly halfway through, I also found that to be a confusing addition at the time. If they were presented from the beginning, it would have been more enjoyable to read.


I do like how all of the storylines were eventually connected in unexpected ways. There were a few occasions where adjoining chapters were perfectly paralleled in ways that made me breathless. By the end of the book, I found that the chapters flowed a lot better and had more focus to their content.


Overall, I rate this book three stars. Although the time jumps and multiple (and often confusing) characters are jarring, I still find the overall mystery intriguing and well worth a read. 

Reviewed by

I have been a reader forever. I still hold the record for reading the most books in Grade 1, and I have maintained that momentum. Now, I have a degree in English Literature and share my passion as an English teacher. I also have a blog where I occasionally post book reviews.

Synopsis

2019: Alison Wiley, a once-idealistic biotech CEO, is processing her new reality: she’s the last bud on the last branch of her family tree. On the heels of her mother’s illness and crushing death, a phone call from Scott Wilcox, a former combat medic turned government investigator, pulls her into a seventy-four year old mystery that begins beneath the surface of a Norwegian glacier.

1945: Squadron Leader Jack Barton, a cocky Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, flies combat missions over occupied Europe. Major Günther Graf, a war-weary and disillusioned Luftwaffe pilot, is trapped in the unspeakable horrors of Nazi Germany. Their paths, so different yet so similar, are connected by a young victim of appalling cruelty.

A story of love and loss, cruelty and kindness, guilt and redemption, EO-N's sweeping narrative takes readers on a riveting journey—from the destruction and cruelty of war to the relentless pressures of contemporary corporate greed—weaving together five seemingly separate lives to remind us that individual actions matter and that courage comes in many forms.

The yelp startled him—a short, sharp cry that indicated something was most definitely wrong.

Panicked, the boy ran to catch up, cresting the ridge of snow over which his companion had disappeared just a few seconds before. She was crouched about fifty metres ahead on a wide flat plain, licking her front paw, the snow around it tinged ever so slightly pink.

“Laika! You okay? You hurt?” he asked breathlessly, speaking, as every dog owner does, as if his canine were completely fluent in human language.

The big black dog rolled onto her back as he approached, holding up her left foreleg for inspection. Maybe she did understand? As the boy dropped to a knee to look for signs of damage, something jabbed into him and he too yelped and jumped back, shocked more than hurt and wondering what could possibly be that sharp on the top of a slushy, snow-covered glacier.

Laika snapped to her feet, startled at her small human’s vocal and physical recoil, but with her tail wagging furiously, having clearly reached the conclusion that both she and he were now in the same predicament. The boy pulled off a glove and poked a tentative finger through the small tear in his trouser knee, feeling around somewhat anxiously for any signs of damage. Relieved to discover that there was nothing of serious concern happening in there, he turned his attention to the mystery cause.

He’d fallen on the snow and ice out here thousands of times, so he knew that whatever had cut Laika’s paw and torn a hole through his snow pants had to be something other than crystals of frozen water. A sharp rock, maybe? He began to dig, carefully scooping handful after handful of slushy snow away from the pain-inducing thing.

He uncovered the edge of a piece of metal, and as he dug a little deeper, it revealed its full self.

He guessed it to be about twice the size of his iPhone, but it was thinner, more like a piece of lightweight cardboard. Angular, gently curved, dull dark grey on one side and a kind of faded pea green on the other, the object had a line of raised dots and some small holes along one edge where it looked as if another piece of metal had maybe once been attached. He held it up in the weakening afternoon sunlight, trying to make sense of it, but of course he couldn’t because it simply didn’t belong there. And, at that time of day especially, neither did he.


About the author

YVR / ORD / YHZ Internationally recognized graphic designer; cofounder of two software companies; co-founder of Cusp Conference. Author of EO-N. view profile

Published on October 22, 2020

70000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Historical Fiction

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