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Synopsis

A young woman with the fate of a nation in her hands. An aircraft designed by science, fueled by magic and flown with passion. A World War re-imagined like never before. Strap yourself in for a wild ride as award-winning author Charles A. Cornell takes you on his dieselpunk adventure, DragonFly; a collision of science fiction with fantasy that fast forwards steampunk into an alternative World War Two. In 1942, an unlikely heroine changes the course of history. On the eve of invasion by the Nazis, twenty-two year old RAF pilot Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Somerset is fighting another battle - winning respect within the stuffy, male-dominated British military. She’s feisty and brash and determined to overcome every obstacle to become Britain’s first female combat pilot. When Ronnie is re-assigned to Enysfarne, a mysterious Royal Navy base off the coast of Cornwall, fate places her inside the cockpit of the most revolutionary aircraft ever invented. Brilliant engineer, Dr. Nigel Pennbridge has discovered quadra-hydrogen, an element that powers the DragonFly, a remarkable fighter-bomber that carries the hopes of Britain on its blue and silver wings. Across the English Channel, Nazi Germany is busy planning its next conquest. Reichsführer Bernhardt Morax, Hitler's personal sorcerer and leader of the Third Reich’s Zauber Korps is preparing his Blutskriegers for the invasion; bio-mechanical warriors created by a depraved occult science whose dark secrets cross the boundaries of evil. In DragonFly, Veronica Somerset’s adventures unfold in two self-contained novellas: In Part I: ‘To Hell and Back’, Ronnie proves she’s a hard-nosed, quick-thinking daredevil. She embarks on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines to spy on Hitler's invasion plans and rescue a defecting officer from the Zauber Korps. Hans Schüller is a Nachtjäger or Night Hunter who introduces her to psychic powers she didn’t know she possessed; powers that entwine her destiny with his. In Part II: ‘Victory or Death’, DragonFly comes to its dramatic conclusion. The Nazi invasion fleet is gathering off the shores of England. Morax, with help from his spies, is determined to seize the DragonFly and unlock the secrets of Enysfarne’s Druid past. Will the Druid wizard, Affodill - whose ancestral home of Enysfarne has been expropriated by the Royal Navy - join forces with the British, or will he make a pact with the evil Morax? Can Princess Victoria and Ronnie Somerset convince Affodill to place his magic in the service of a nation that has betrayed his Druid ancestors for centuries? ‘DragonFly – the Illustrated Edition’ is the ultimate DragonFly reading experience! It’s packed with sixty illustrations that make the action jump off the page, including character dossiers, historical ‘retrographs’ and fantastic designs of retro-futuristic aircraft. Eleven of the sixty illustrations are exclusive to this omnibus edition of DragonFly and will be unavailable anywhere else!

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    Good fight scene, too weird alternate history

    Imagine that Germany never tried to invade Russia during WWII. The Third Reich never split its forces and got crash by Allied Forces, therefore the United States signed a pact with Germany and left Europe, leaving its Allies to fend for themselves. Grim enough as this scenario is, there is more: Germany has been experimenting with an arcane force that may change the nature of human beings and with it, the Third Reich is creating the perfect warrior: zombies who don’t feel pain and fight until they are shredded to pieces. But the same arcane force is known to the British Air Force too and they are experimenting in a completely different way. This force can have aircraft fly with just water, that’s how the Dragonfly Squadron comes into existence and, for a series of events, its pilots are all women. The arcane force isn’t something new either. It was known in the British Islands since the time of the Celts… and there is still a bond between that world and the new one. So, this is very peculiar dieselpunk story set in WWII with strong connection to Celtic legends. Which, I have to say, didn’t really work perfectly for me, but it was a different idea nonetheless. Personally, I found the mixing of Celtic and WWII elements a bit crashing, but it can be just my impression. What really stands out for me in this novel are the air fights. The author clearly knows the matter and his action scenes in the air really take advantage of it. His fight scenes between aircrafts of new design (beautifully depicted in the many illustrations) are often breathtaking and move the story along quite nicely. The story is clearly opened at the end, but it gives a sense of closure nonetheless.

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