Aleck Loker has written a novel that blends his love of science, engineering, history, and archaeology that readers young and old will enjoy. This story plays out on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, and Historic St. Mary's City.
Readers will find an accurate portrayal of Navy flight-testing, fictionalized for sure, but clearly describing the way test pilots and technical staff balance this high-risk work with careful preparation and constant review.
Paul Melton, the hero of this adventure story, is a student at Esperanza Middle School, with the usual interests and issues that we can all relate to. By accident, Paul becomes swept up into the Navy’s recovery, analysis, and ultimately flight test of a strange craft that has intruded into their airspace. Paul becomes an integral part of the test team and saves the day, earning the respect of the engineers and pilots, who call him a "true professional"–their highest accolade.
In the second part of the book, Paul experiences strange flashbacks in time that take him to St. Mary's City at the time of the founding of the colony. Paul again faces danger and proves he has the right stuff–in the process shedding new light on the mysteries of the early colonial period.
This novel conveys cutting-edge science and history without being tedious. Aleck has woven science and history into a charming story of a boy's coming-of-age that conveys heavy concepts–but in light doses.