A Season for Ravens

Will Ottinger
ISBN 9781478739494
Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Erica Ford for Reader Views (02/15)

“A Season for Ravens” by Will Ottinger is a perfect example of aviation combat. You can tell the Mr. Ottinger took his time with this book; he has done all of his research. He combines the aviation and combat history from WWI and makes you feel the angst and psychological stress of the solider and family members who are expecting to die, and mixes them into a murder mystery. This is a combination that you just don’t want to miss.

Mr. Ottinger draws you into the world of 1918. He is able to intertwine lives, from the officers to the enlisted soldiers. You can feel the research through the terror, loneliness, the burden of command, and the Officer-NCO relationship; it becomes so insightful. You become so engrossed in the psychology of men who are happy and ok with killing other men, while the terror of others soak through the pages. This book moves very seamlessly between all involved parties.

As I stated before Mr. Ottinger has done his research. He perfectly describes the suspense of the pilots. It is stated that on average pilots on the Western Front lived for only three months. The pilot's desire to fight on a "cleaner" field far above the grit of the trenches, while suffering the pangs of fear, nausea, physical exhaustion, exhilaration, and euphoria when engaged in aerial combat. I couldn’t even imagine the anguish that these pilots went through. All of the characters, not just the pilots or commanders, but the ground troops as well.

“A Season for Ravens” by Will Ottinger is a suspenseful, perfectly written novel, where Mr. Ottinger’s research has paid off, as he has combined the overall evil of this war and the personal disillusionment of the warriors on both sides. While reading you feel sympathy for those who were fighting, and those who lost their loved ones. In one scene you see the misery of the ground troops who are in the trenches; in the next you see life from the air or even at the airfields. These are the scenes that are more compelling and make you want to keep reading. After reading this book there is so much you want to learn about, and ponder. This only happens as the result of a well written book.

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