Format read: E-Arc provided by the publisher
Release Date: August 20th 2012
Number of pages: 44 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Riptide Publishing
Germany, 1945. The Third Reich is on its knees as Allied forces bomb Berlin to break the last resistance. Yet on an airfield near Berlin, the battle is far from over for a young mechanic, Felix, who’s attached to a squadron of fighter pilots. He’s especially attached to fighter ace Baldur Vogt, a man he admires and secretly loves. But there’s no room for love at the end of the world, never mind in Nazi Germany.
When Baldur narrowly cheats death, Felix pulls him from his plane, and the pilot makes his riskiest move yet. He takes a few days’ leave to recover, and he takes Felix with him. Away from the pressures of the airfield, their bond deepens, and Baldur shows Felix the kind of brotherhood he’d only ever dreamed of before.
But there’s no escaping the war, and when they return, Baldur joins the fray again in the skies over Berlin. As the Allies close in on the airfield where Felix waits for his lover, Baldur must face the truth that he is no longer the only one in mortal danger.
After reading Aleksandr Voinov’s Dark Soul series I knew I would read more from this author, I needed to read more. I decided to trust the author and read Skybound even though this is the time period I always avoid like the plague. I’ve never been attracted to World War stories but I’m glad I read it. I would have missed out on a beautiful and touching story.
Skybound is a short story but in 40 pages the author still works his magic and makes you care for the characters. It doesn’t even feel rushed. The use of ellipses in the story makes you feels like you’re watching a movie, it feels intimate, as if the author didn’t need to tell you because you can fill the blanks with all your emotions. I couldn’t help but love Felix and Baldur, their budding relationship felt so natural and without any trappings. Felix stops living when Baldur is on a mission, he keeps looking at the sky, hoping the plane will come back safely. I was right there with him, I feared with him and kept hoping everything would be fine.
Reading Skybound was a new experience for me, to be honest I didn’t know much about Berlin during the War. I didn’t even imagine once before how it felt to be on the German side of History. In school (at least here in France) we’ve always been taught from the ‘other side’, no matter how ‘neutral’ history classes are supposed to be, they never really are. The author did an amazing job at making you feel the desperation and fear of the characters. I felt hopeless and resigned and it made me ache for the characters. I loved how Felix and Baldur find a way to make the most of the time they have left, how they find comfort in each other. I was rooting for them all along.
What a beautiful story of love and courage. The ending took me by surprise and I ended up with teary eyes. The author takes you back in time and makes you experience a very difficult part of History. I recommend it to everyone. I will definitely be waiting for Aleksandr’s next novel.
I give Skybound 4,5 Stars