Faith, by Kay Hadashi is not the most typical novel I’d reviewed on Fuldapocalypse. Still, its setting fits the theme of the blog, and it’s always good to have a change of pace.
Who And What
The book follows the career of heroine Melanie Kato as she joins the Air Force, becomes a medic, and serves in a pararescue unit. She’s assigned to Osan in South Korea, and has to deal with her personal life issues as well as her jumps.
This is a very different book from a normal cheap thriller. It’s really a personal/relationship saga that has the parajumper adventures as a backdrop rather than a parajumper adventure saga that has personal/relationship issues as a backdrop. Thankfully, the characters are good enough that it can succeed as that.
DEEP HISTORY OF TEM
There’s comparably few infodumps here, and even fewer irrelelevant infodumps. Most of what’s stated ends up being used. There’s a bit of awkwardness with military technology Hadashi clearly wasn’t familiar with. On one hand, this prevents a “This was an S-200VE battery…” exactness. On the other, well, I gritted my teeth a little every time surface-to-air missiles were mentioned.
The real infodump depth comes from medical scenes that Hadashi is familiar with. These never feel like they’re irrelevant to the story, but can get a little overdescriptive and clunky at times.
The main character being a parajumper I could forgive for the sake of the story-she’s established (this is actually the second book in the series), and the author clearly wanted her in one. Some readers might complain, but I didn’t mind. Hadashi herself clearly states in the forward “liberties have been taken with the search and rescue drama.”
A full-scale Second Korean War never happens in the book. However, a lot of (frequently contrived) incidents that require her and her unit to jump north of the DMZ do.
The action is kind of movie-ish. There’s surprisingly few North Koreans in any one place at any one time during the northern adventures. The medical infodumps are a little out of place compared to the vague action.
But it flows well and stays tense and gripping.
The Only Score That Really Matters
Faith is not a rip-roaring blast-away action-adventure novel. Once you have that in mind, it’s very good for what it is.