Title: Autopilot Engaged: Turbulence #2
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Cover Artist: Jordan Castillo Price
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Length: Novelette/8700 words/29 PDF pages
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Review Summary: Hold on to your seat and enjoy the ride. Afraid of flying? Don’t go into the cockpit.
People are complicated. Public figures often lead seedy double lives, while average folks rise to the occasion in times of crisis. Dallas Turner is a people person, and as a long-time flight attendant, he’s dealt with them all. Frazzled parents with overtired kids. Demanding businessmen who can’t fly unless they’re three sheets to the wind. Terrified passengers clinging to their armrests with a white-knuckled grip.
Most passengers think of him a glorified waiter—and if they’re lucky, they’ll never have that assumption challenged. Dallas is trained in CPR and self-defense. His primary duty is to care for the passengers. Although he’s well-prepared, some emergencies you just can’t train for.
Dallas has only known First Officer Paul Cronin for a few hours, but his gut instincts are usually accurate. Paul seems smart, determined and capable. He’d make a good permanent addition to the crew. Can Dallas ensure he survives the shock of his first round trip on Flight 511?
The second installment of this series is just as exciting as Into The Bermuda Triangle: Turbulence #1 and I have linked my review. In Autopilot Engaged we get Dallas’s back story as well as his reflections on life as a flight attendant – more drudgery than glamour and excitement. Then everything changed when he was assigned to AVA 511 from Fort Lauderdale to Bermuda, and his life became one continuous roller coaster ride.
It’s very hard to write this review without spoilers but I will say that if you read the first book you will realize that these stories are just as weird as an episode of The Twilight Zone. For example, when Dallas entered the cockpit during his first flight on 511, as he surveyed the scene he wondered who was really flying the plane and was the First Officer as high as a kite? What about the Captain – was she on autopilot? Was he hallucinating or was there another explanation for what was happening?
One year later things haven’t changed much except there is a new First Officer, Paul Cronin, after Marlin his predecessor decided to end it all. Paul seemed dazed and sick at the end of his first flight as he looked around the plane cabin and then outside at the airport, as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Dallas felt sorry for him so he took Paul for a ride around the island as a bit of show and tell, but that only made everything worse. The reason was simple: Dallas could not explain what had happened because there was no reasonable explanation other than maybe they were all going crazy.
Autopilot Engaged is another “hold on to the seat of your pants” episode that once you start reading you can’t put down. I have no idea how the author will be able to make the rest of the series as exciting as these first two episodes. Will Paul’s heart be able to withstand the shock of flying to Bermuda on a regular basis as the First Officer on AVA 511? The Captain is definitely strange and I’m wondering if she’ll crack as we get further into Turbulence. She seems to be teetering on the edge and it probably won’t take much for her to fall off.
The series is addictive and Jordan is posting episodes every month so you don’t have to wait for a long time before you get your next fix. I’m always amazed at the amount of worldbuilding she manages to include in even these short novelettes and she is one of very few who can do so much with a minimum of words. As I mentioned in my review of Turbulence #1, these books are free on Amazon or on JCP Books.
If you’re easily scared don’t read these books at night or when you’re alone at home, and try not to freak out.
See you soon when I review Turbulence 3: Red Eye Dawn.