Wind Raker by Melissa Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Gilchrist Aviation is riding out the depression but it's not been easy so when an a lucrative job is offered by a major aircraft manufacturer to test the Catalina Flying Boat it's too valuable to turn down. The job is in Hawaii a location which is considered suitable for the civilian applications of an island hopper but by some strange coincidence Jerry is also in Hawaii supervising his first dig since his injury. Those who understand how the world works can't help but be troubled by this unusual "coincidence" that will bring all the members of the Lodge together far from their usual stomping grounds. Jerry is looking for evidence of early Chinese influence on the Islands based on an intact Ming Vase discovered on a pineapple plantation but the identity of who is funding the dig is a mystery and with dark influences growing throughout the US and the world as shown when a German warship visits the islands everyone's on edge. During testing of the new seaplane the Gilchrist crew meet a young woman named Lily who has a dark history and is believed to be a bit of a jinx or as she believes the victim of a very strong curse. Alma of course can't help but get involved which brings together her people and the local Lodge and renews hostilities with a very dangerous acquaintance from a few years earlier.
Wind Raker is the fourth novel in The Order of the Air series of novels written by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham and I think I enjoyed this novel more than the others as the writing/plot seemed to be faster paced. This of course could be the result of some of the narrative tying together early elements as it would in a series of novels and the hints of future events and the speculation the reader then brings as to the impact on the characters didn't hurt either. I enjoyed the subplot of the children that Mitch and Stasi take under their wing and as always the interactions between the family of Gilchrist Aviation and their willingness to or at least attempt to always do the right thing gave a positive slant to the story even when in sunny Hawaii there was darkness and evil lurking just out of sight.
I have as I type this review just bought the fifth book in the series entitled "Oath Bound", says it all really.
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