In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain…”Psalm 11:1
The characters consistently pray, throughout the book. These tend to be short prayers for safety or for God’s help in the investigation. And we definitely see God answering by protecting Penny and Holt!
I chose the verse from Psalm 11, because the characters consistently turn to God when they are in trouble and when they need courage. Even in scary situations, they persevere and they do so with an awareness that God is in control. For example, Holt prays that God will reveal what they need to know, to catch the killer.
There are also a few comments/discussions about the way God responds to prayer. It’s not always in the way we hope or expect, but He does listen. Along this line, there are some instances of thanking God after the prayers of protection, but I would have liked to see more of this.
Overall, it was refreshing Christian characters who acted like Christians. For me, though, the spiritual content was not particularly moving/insightful.
Introduction to the Author
I’ve seen enough Lynette Eason titles to know that she’s a pretty big name in the genre, but this is my first time actually reading one of her books. The experience was very enjoyable and I’d definitely like to read more of her books.
I received this book along with Sunrise by Susan May Warren (and The Girl who Could Breathe Underwater, by Erin Bartels). Given the presence of a helicopter on the cover of this one, and a￼￼ little plane on the cover of the other book, I was concerned that these books would be really similar. (I don’t read many books about pilots, haha). So, I was very happy to learn that the pilot character was pretty much the only similarity between the two.
What I Liked
So many of my reviews of Christian books include a disclaimer for romantic content. In addition to the fact that I don’t think that’s necessary in this case (hooray!!), there were several things that I really appreciated.
First, the basis of Penny and Holt’s relationship was refreshing. I’ve seen a lot of books where the main characters meet and fall in love in the course of the novel, or where they reunite after a break-up (and long absence). In this case, Penny and Holt have already gone out together a few times, before the book begins. So, it’s already been established that the characters are interested in each other, making for a more realistic romance. As a reader, I got to watch the two fall in love, but in a way that wasn’t rushed, nor burdened with relationship baggage (Plus, it was nice that the dating couple didn’t break up in favor of the girl discovering the new, interesting guy that “gets her.” That’s often what happens to the first love interest, in romances).
I so appreciate that Eason doesn’t imply that a person can fill or complete another person. This is something else that I see all-too-frequently in romance novels, and I was so glad that Eason doesn’t do this! Instead, the characters appreciate that God brought them together and are prepared to see what He has next, for them.
The suspense plot line was intriguing, with some unexpected plot developments. This book kept me on my toes, which is something I enjoy in this genre.
I really enjoyed Penny’s characterization. She is undoubtedly a strong woman, who is willing to risk her life to protect those she loves most. At the same time, she’s not too proud to accept help and protection from others. I considered her to be a very likeable character.
The friendship between Penny, Julianna and Grace was beautiful. I appreciate that Eason portrays the importance of friendship, in addition to writing a romantic story. These girls have known each other for a long time and continue to take care of one another.
As mentioned above, I am so happy not to have a disclaimer about the romance. There are a few kissing scenes, but I would describe these as tasteful and sweet.
There is some violence, including attack and self-defense. There’s also some really intense subject matter, since the book is about a woman-hating serial killer.
There are a couple short segments from the perspective of the serial killer, but there’s nothing graphic in these moments.
The below points may seem a bit “nit picky.” I do want to note that it is only because this book was SO GOOD that I have the luxury of observing the following:
Even before I made the decision to focus my reading on Christian titles, one thing I’ve felt convicted about is reading books with content I wouldn’t otherwise read, simply because of their “Christian” label. For instance, Ted Dekker is one of my very favorite authors and writes some REALLY powerful books. However, some of his titles are pretty much “horror,” and I recognized that I wouldn’t have touched them, if they weren’t “Christian.” I’ve decided it’s not a good idea for me to reread those.
With that said, Life Flight is nowhere near comparable with the intensity in some of Dekker’s more intense works. The “check” I have is intrigue for the sake of intrigue, because I didn’t really see a big statement about the light overpowering the darkness. While I don’t really see a lot of specifically “objectionable” content, I would have really liked to see a clearer purpose behind the inclusion of the dark elements. (This is something I very much see in Dekker’s works, especially the less horror-y ones.)
Although I wouldn’t have minded more emphasis on the spiritual content, this is a book I really enjoyed. The serial killer investigation may be intense for certain readers, but I was so gratified to see Eason’s treatment of the romantic relationship.