Ascent, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Yefgenii Yeremin is a flyer and he is a phantom. In the Korean War, he is the legendary ace dubbed 'Ivan the Terrible', shooting down more American jets than any other pilot in history.

But the Soviet Union's involvement in Korea must be kept secret, so Yefgenii is exiled to a remote Arctic base, his name unknown, his victories uncelebrated.

But in 1964, a man arrives from Moscow, from the Space Committee, in search of a volunteer prepared to sacrifice everything for his country...




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I enjoyed this books immensely even though I am not at all interested in descriptions of war and fighting. But this one is written in a way that makes reading pure pleasure. Our hero Yefgenii becomes a legend in the Korean war by shooting down more American jets than anybody else. But Russia's involvement in the war must be kept secret, so Yefgenii is exiled to a remote Arctic base. In 1964, he gets recruited into the space programme.... It is an intriguing story, yes, but what makes this book so interesting is the way the author uses language and grammar. Short sentences, fast pace -and the most fascinating bit is the last third of the book, written completely in the present tense, letting you be part of the actions as they happen. The way the author tells the story makes you feel as if you are in a race to get to the end, every sentence drives you to the next one, every end of a chapter throws you into the beginning of the following one. I loved it!

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