Off the Chart

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
A terrorist’s mad attempt to bring down a commercial airliner results in a crash landing. The first question the survivors must answer is where they are—since the rugged winter landscape is off the charts.
Smith Hagaman’s first novel is an epic tale of hardy souls struggling who survive a horrifying tragedy only to discover the most dangerous part of their story has just begun. More

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Review by: Sheila Deeth on Jan. 21, 2016 :
When you get on a plane, you never know who you’ll sit next to. This is certainly true of the passengers on a long-haul flight from London. But readers will find the backstories of every survivor rendered in novel-worthy detail after an act of terrorism cuts the journey short. Having lived through an Arctic crash, this hardy band must now avoid lethal gunmen, relentless pursuers, and each other’s twisted motivations if they’re to make it back to civilization.

The facts are certainly intriguing as the author details flight paths, emergency distress numbers, and the danger of empty seats in a plane crash. Philosophy and religion will be given plenty of space as characters deal with tragedy and fear. Occasionally strange social commentary might ring true or false depending on the reader’s point of view—for example, the assertion that “in England, there are basically three languages, The Queen’s English, Businessman’s English, and Cockney.” But I’m from England’s North (none of the three). Meanwhile, Flight 211 is missing. The survivors would like to know why, if they live long enough.

Off the Chart is a long novel—almost a TV series perhaps—with characters built on complex backstories from multiple societies and ethnicities; science built from complex detail in some places and scant in others; plus a wealth of protagonists and antagonists, problems to be solved, and mysteries to be understood. It ends, appropriately, with just enough suspense to ask for season (or volume) two, but a good enough sense of completion in case it’s not renewed.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
(reviewed 3 years after purchase)
Review by: ginnieartist on July 16, 2013 :
A very good thriller with several interesting twists.
Strong characters. Vivid imagery. Fast action.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
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