Indian immigrant Ben Chaudhry must be going insane. At the very least, he's hallucinating and seeing things that definitely aren't...or at least shouldn't be there. But he knows what he saw and what he felt when elves descended on his house in Bakewell, England – a small town in the Peak District – rocking it to its foundations. They were gone as quickly as they came, leaving nothing out of order, as if his house hadn't rattled and shaken like it had been in throes of a 7.0 earthquake. But he knows something happened. But what?
When Ben calls in the Paranormal Defense Agency to banish the fae from his life, they turn out to be a group of UFO hunters led by former RAF Wing Commander Chris Gatrell, who's been forced to retire from the Royal Air Force on grounds of insanity. Nuts or not, Chris is hot to the core, if a bit odd. Even Chris' motley crew of UFO hunters don’t entirely trust him, as his aura is off, and though he has the sight, it doesn't explain the strange happenings surrounding him.
A Lancaster pilot shot down by elvish magic during WWII, Chris has been propelled forward seventy years in time. Marooned in 1995, it becomes clear that the elves are not just angry with Ben for building an extension on faery hallowed ground. He's quite prepared to protect the younger headstrong Ben from them. But love? The product of a homophobic society long gone, Chris is haunted by his affair with his navigator during WWII, and he isn't sure he wants to go there again. Besides, he still grieves for his wartime lover, a man he believes to be dead.
But Geoff Flynn is very much alive. He’s trapped in another dimension, ruled by Oonagh, Queen of the Fae. Free to roam that domain, he meets the beautiful Princess Sumala and teams up with her to make contact with their loved ones. When elves capture Sumala, Flynn attempts to rescue her, bringing about a string of events that are far more dangerous than he could ever have imagined. Moreover, it will eventually pit him against Ben and Chris in the fulfillment of a long held prophecy.
I'm not a fan of fantasy, but I took a chance on reading Bomber's Moon, the first half of Alex Beecroft’s Under the Hill duology, because of the World War II connection. The book isn't an easy, relaxing read by any means. It's complex, multi-faceted, and fast-paced, and I’ll tell you straight up that I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book, even the fantasy aspects. Ms. Beecroft’s writing is fluid and pictorial, with a profusion of rich, colorful descriptions that reach out and touch the reader. I could feel the give of a soft forest floor beneath my feet, envision the slow ooze of ectoplasm down a wall, and even feel as if I were creeping around inside an elf's house at Flynn's side.
Ms. Beecroft’s characters, even the diverse supporting cast, are vividly drawn, genuine, and entertaining. I particularly liked Flynn. He reminds me a lot of my dad, who was also a member of the Greatest Generation. Flynn's a genuine gentleman and entirely emblematic of his era and upbringing. He starts out in a position of total ignorance of what he's facing and then, thanks to Sumala's insight, he begins to see the role he must play in the outcome of the prophecy he slowly begins to figure out.
Ben has control issues that come from a traumatic past in India. Coming from the lowest caste in India, he immigrated to the UK with his parents as a child. Having been bullied in school because of his racial differences, he's become proudly British. He's also come to accept that he’s gay, which is considered unacceptable in both cultures. It’s no wonder he keeps his sexual preference close to the vest in “mixed” company and is incredibly alert to the slightest hint of homophobia.
Though Chris has been in the modern world since 1995, he still thinks and speaks much like a man from the 1940s. He often suffers PTSD flashbacks to the war, but because of that we're privileged to see his wartime memories and even relive one of his bombing missions. Of course, I really enjoyed the glimpses into this historical era that I so enjoy.
This book is a MUST READ for fantasy fans, and even if you’re not a fantasy fan, I urge you to get it anyway. You won’t be disappointed.