Wings of a Flying Tiger takes place just before American involvement in World War II up to full involvement. It’s a story I haven’t read before about the invasions of Japan into China and all the bloodshed and murder that was caused. The writing is brutal and does not hold anything depicting acts of violence you hope are fiction. The story is a modern day tragedy about Japan’s superior force dismantling China’s forces and American forces stepping in to even the score, with a love story thrown in to tell the real tragedy. A special thanks to Open Books who gave me a free Copy of Wings of a Flying Tiger in exchange for an honest review. This could be a perfect book for the YARC from Shut up, Shealea (Year of Asian Reading Challenge) 2019 really strong in family and tropes.
Plot: Jasmine is very beautiful Chinese girl who grew up learning English, from her parents who are both educators she lives in Chungking with her Uncle who are safe from the Japanese invasion, but her parents reside in Nanking which is the next city set for Japanese takeover. Jasmine is going in a last ditch effort to convince them to leave for safety. The train she’s on in taken over by Japanese forces, she manages to escape with her life as the war forms amongst her. When she reaches her parents house they’ve been killed and the two teenage servant girls are all that’s left. They fight for they’re lives and with Jasmine’s English skills are taken in at an American mission, she is eventually reunited with family after a series of loss, her cousin Daisy and her Uncle, everything is nice and peaceful as the war still rages on but the Japanese don’t pay attention to the remote village, until Danny a fighter pilot is shot down near the village, do they save him and risk becoming a causality?
What I Liked: The plot moves pretty fast, the brutality is written really well, you feel every bullet whizz by and feel it even more when it hits it target. The Chinese language is used really, there’s a reason the author switches to a different language, and often times it’s powerful. The novle flows really well. The author did the historical research and it shows. I questioned how many rapes or threat of rapes there were, but in the Author Q and A there was 300,000 deaths and 20,000 rapes through out the War.
What I Disliked: I thought the development of Jasmine stopped after Danny was introduced, and I wanted to hear more of her voice. I also feel this novel would have worked as a duel character novel we get a tease of Danny at the beginning then it’s Jasmine’s story until the half way point, where Danny gets most of the focus. I thought we could have got adventures with Danny and Jack before the War to when he was gunned down. I also felt cheapened that Danny had a thing for Asian girls before he meets the cousins, I felt that information wasn’t needed.
Recommendations: I’m a huge fan of World War II stories and this was a new one for me, in location and story, if you’re a fan this is a good one. This recommendation does came with a trigger warning: Rape is pretty heavily through out, and described graphically, so if that does effect you in anyway I would skip this one for that matter. I rated this novel 4 out of 5 stars