Friday, June 6th, 2008
Skid (Occupational Hazard Series #3)
Publisher’s Summary: Blissfully unaware that Atlantica Flight 1945 from Atlanta to Amsterdam is about to make aviation history, First Officer Danny McSweeney focuses his energies on navigating the turbulent personalities of an eccentric female captain, a co-pilot with a talent for tactless comments and conspiracy theories, and a lead flight attendant with an outsized attitude that definitely exceeds the limits for carry-on baggage.
On the other side of the cockpit door, the unscheduled in-flight entertainment includes a potbellied pig, a jittery diamond courier, and the recently jilted Lucy Meredith, whose personal mantra of “What Would Oprah Do?” will be challenged by the sudden appearance of her ex and his new traveling partner. On her left sits Hank Hazard, whose unusually polite but constant requests–prompted by his covert role as a spy for the airline–test the limits of the crew’s customer service.
But as Lucy and the rest of the crew discover, Hank’s odd behavior is linked to a quiet faith that may play a key role in the fate of everyone on board. Especially when an unexpected traveler sets this already bumpy flight on a course toward the unfriendly skies.
Author Bio: Rene Gutteridge is the author of twelve novels, including the Boo series, the Storm series, and the novelization for The Ultimate Gift, as well as Scoop and Snitch, the first two Occupational Hazard novels. She lives with her husband, Sean, and their two children in Oklahoma City.
Okay, so I really need to read these invitation e-mails a lot closer, because again I didn’t clue into the fact that Skid too was an Occupational Hazard novel (which I found a cute series title, but I’m a sucker for that kind of name), and plunked myself into the middle of a series. Anyhow, to clear up any possible misconceptions, SKID IS BOOK THREE IN THE OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD SERIES. There.
As for the book itself…I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m not a good judge of contemporary fiction, because while I found it a nice one-evening tubbie read, I certainly didn’t find it a “fun, wild ride with devious humor” nor did it have “me smiling all the way through.” Nor did I consider it worth 5 stars like most of the reviewers on Amazon. Perhaps I’ve grown cynical in my old age. More likely it’s because the more I try to write, the more critical I’ve become of other writers. So much so that it is very difficult for me to read for pleasure anymore.
The plot was okay, if far-fetched/forced. Again, it may be me–after a stint working for the FAA I dislike most things to do with planes. I did like Hank, though he came across as naive rather than innocent. The other characters… Well, I suppose they were relatively well-developed, had decent back-stories, and I identified with nary a one. They all felt like characters rather than real people.
Truth is as Strange as Fiction Tidbit: I was reading Uncle John’s Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader earlier this evening (I love books with random trivia) and stumbled across this interesting little article:
On October 17, 2000, two women and their (300 pound) hog boarded a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Seattle. They presented a note from a doctor verifying that the animal “was a ‘theraputic companion pet,’ like a guide dog for the blind,” so the airline cleared it to fly.
The hog snoozed through most of the six-hour flight, but got spooked when the plane landed. It charged up and down the aisle, squealing loudly, at one point even trying to smash into the cockpit. Then it hid in the galley until its owners lured it out with food and pushed it off the plane…at which point it fouled the jetway.
US Airways immediately revised its companion animal policy specifically to exclude hogs. “We can confirm that the pig traveled,” a spokesperson told reporters,”and we can confirm it will never happen again. Let me stress that. It will never happen again.”
At least not until Atlantica Flight 1945 takes off.
- Characters: B
- Plot: B
- Flow of Story: B
- Writing Style: B
- Enjoyable: C+