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Air Rage    by Sam Yarney order for
Air Rage
by Sam Yarney
Order:  USA  Can
Victor Newman, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Anise Hollingshead

Cyrus Anderson is combining business with pleasure on a trip to Switzerland. As special events correspondent for a Christian broadcasting network, Cyrus is to interview a group of people who miraculously survived a mountain climbing incident. His wife Liddy accompanies him, taking a needed break from their 18-month old child.

Soon after arrival, however, Cyrus gets a new assignment that he's been waiting for. He will travel with the press assigned to cover the President of the United States on his trip to Russia. Though Liddy isn't very happy, Cyrus is ecstatic, as this is just the beginning of a long-laid plan, 'The Project' (a mysterious allusion to something that Cyrus and his friends learned about in the first novel of this trilogy, Ninety Days). Cyrus immediately returns to the U.S., where he boards the press plane and heads off to Russia. In the meantime, other characters make short appearances in tantalizingly brief vignettes, as when the Chinese President calls the U.S. President to offer a lucrative business relationship with the car industry in China, rather than give it to a European country. The punchline is that the Chinese President needs an unnamed favor from the American President. We also hear from people familiar from the first novel.

The action in Air Rage is immediate and compelling, but also confusing if the reader hasn't read the first book in the trilogy. There is no recap of previous events, so someone who wades into this book without reading the prequel will be utterly lost. I don't look for an entire retelling of an earlier work, but it is nice to have high points elucidated in the beginning, for those new to a series. Also, while the action moves forward briskly and efficiently, and the descriptions of places and people are interesting, the dialogue between characters is often weak and artificial - especially between Cyrus and his wife Liddy, who end up sounding like teenagers, instead of a married couple in their thirties. However, the plot twists and changes, and the constant sense that something exciting is going to happen, will keep most people reading.

Cyrus, his wife, and friends are Christians, and the entire plot of the series is based on the power of prayer from believers. In the tradition of the well-known Left Behind series, the good guys have God on their side against the bad guys. I recommend Air Rage to anyone wanting a good, quick suspense read, no matter their beliefs. While the interaction between characters could be better in the matter of dialogue, the action itself is compelling and involving, and provides easy entertainment.

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