Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Island of the Phoenix by Vic Mills
by Vic Mills
Same war, different enemy…
Captain Michael Hollands, United States Army Air Corps, is a combat-hardened pilot, battling Nazi fighter planes for control of the skies over North Africa. His life is difficult and sometimes it’s brutal, but he understands his place in the world, and he understands the rules. Then an unexpected change of orders yanks him out of familiar surroundings, and sends him half-way around the world to fight the Japanese in the South Pacific.
Shuffled to an obscure air base in the Solomon Islands, he discovers that his assigned unit has transferred to a new operating area, taking their aircraft with them. Without planes or official sanction, Hollands must beg, borrow, and steal to build a fighter squadron that will take the war to the enemy’s doorstep.
But nothing can prepare him for what happens when he crash-lands on an unnamed island behind Japanese lines. Marooned among a handful of heroic survivors, he is about to discover the true meaning of loyalty, patriotism, courage, and love.
The Japanese Imperial Navy has no idea what’s in store for it. And neither does Mike Hollands...
Too often, we think of war as just being the ugly and the awful - the worst side of humanity. Vic Mills has the uncanny ability to show that side of conflict without becoming mired down in it, and at the same time to demonstrate the greatness that lives inside most everyone, just waiting to come out. He did it in his first book, SNAFU, with a fictionalized version of his experiences in Viet Nam. Now, in Island of the Phoenix, he transports the reader back to World War II, where ordinary people do extraordinary things. This book, although fiction, really demonstrates how great leadership can bring out the best in everyone.
Phoenix is not only a study in leadership; it is a historically accurate look at the aircraft and military battles in the Solomon Islands. It is full of detail without becoming tedious - the perfect intersection of novel and history book.
R.A. Strong, Lt. USCG (Ret.)
Island of the Phoenix, by Vic Mills, was fascinating, exciting, informative and very enjoyable. Vic has a wonderful talent for weaving together a story with a real life feel. He shows the human side of the military and the shortcomings of it too. His main character, Mike Hollands, is the kind of guy anyone would like to call a friend,- kind, intelligent, good sense of humor, but made of sturdy stuff and not afraid to stand up for what he feels is right.
Vic Mills must have an incredible amount of knowledge about aircraft. There are clever, surprising examples of ingenuity and exciting descriptions of combat and outsmarting the enemy. Then he gets shot down and lands on a tiny island along with the pilot of a Japanese plane!
What a wonderful imagination and ability to bring it all together in a very entertaining story! I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone, - man, woman or the mature child. It is pretty clean, too, by today’s standards.
Thanks, Vic! Keep up the good work! Looking forward to another winner!
Read more reviews here.
Vic Mills was born in Los Angeles in 1942. He has three children, Mike, Lisa, and Jason, and—at last count—seven grandchildren. In the late 1950s, while attending high school in Felton, California (Santa Cruz), Vic was active in Music— singing, writing, and performing with his younger sister, Diana, and a high school friend. When he relocated to L.A. in 1963, he was asked to submit several of his musical compositions for then-current rock and roll artists. In 1966, prior to his induction into the Army, Vic moved to Seattle. Upon his return from Vietnam and release from the military, he returned to his job there with the city transit system. In 1984, Vic started his own vehicle consulting firm. He’s currently hard at work on his next novel.