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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review - Angels & Their Hourglasses by JM Surra

Imagine you could change history. If you could use the knowledge you have today, think what you might share with people who lived fifty, a hundred or more years ago. Would people listen and learn? Could you effect a positive change? These questions must have fascinated author JM Surra. The son of a WWII airplane mechanic, he grew up with an inherited love of planes.

In Angels and Their Hourglasses, Ben's love of early aviation history is nourished by his grandfather. At the end of a "marriage talk" weekend with Katie Lynn, Ben takes off in his 1938 Waco biplane. A massive black storm cloud soon chases him through the skies. Unable to dodge or outrun it, Ben's plane is tossed around and crashes into a field.

He awakes in the dark to throbbing pain and confusion. Finding his plane scattered around him, he tries to get up and faints. The second time, a voice wakes him, "Easy, now. You're hurt..." Ben recognizes neither the men gathered round him nor his surroundings.

The man speaks, "I would say that introductions are in order...My name is Zantford. Zantford Granville."

Ben grew up with his grandfather's stories...tales about the Granville brothers and other pioneers of aviation. He knows the brothers well. What he doesn't know is how he could have ended up in 1929.

Surra mixes real and fictional characters, time travel and actual historical events in this exciting novel. He brings the characters and the time period to life, and makes it easy to believe that Ben's story could happen. It's a treat to see another perspective to characters we know from our time frame only - people like Jimmy Doolittle and Howard Hughes.

Ben is a believable hero torn between his old life and the beloved history of his new life.

With seemingly insignificant changes, Ben changes history. It's a great journey for the reader's imagination. From flights of fancy to serious ponderings, the story lends itself from simply a good read to a deeply introspective "what-if."

The book is currently available as a Kindle e-book through Amazon.

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