Paco Chierici, Author

Lions Of The Sky

Braveship Books, ISBN 978-1-6406-2072-8

Fiction-military, fighter pilots, F-14 Tomcats, US Navy, Iraq, USA, A-6 Intruder, USS Ranger. USS Lincoln, USS Kitty Hawk, Navy Reserves

274 pages

November 2019 Review for Bookpleasures

Reviewer-Michelle Kaye Malsbury, BSBM, MM

Lions Of The Sky cover

Review

Paco Chierici, author of Lions Of The Sky, currently flies 737’s for a living. (2019, back cover) He was previously an active duty US Fighter Pilot flying the A-6 Intruder and the F-14 Tomcat during his deployment in Iraq and Somalia and the F-5 Tiger II while in the Naval Reserves as a Bandit. Paco has racked up more than 3,000 tactical flight hours with 400 carrier landings during his tenure with the US Navy. He was awarded the Southeast Asia Service Medal and Bronze Star and three Strike/Fighter Air Medals for his flight prowess and courage under fire. Chierici was stationed aboard the USS Ranger, Lincoln, and Kitty Hawk. Dogfighting is in his blood and he gets a regular fix in his Yak-50 along with his buddies the G-hounds in the northern California skies as often as he can. His works have been published in Aviation Classics Magazine, AOPA Magazine, and Fighter Sweep. Paco wrote and produced an award-winning documentary about aviation called Speed and Angels. He resides in northern California with his wife and family.

One of the main characters in Lions Of The Sky is a man named Sam Richardson. Sam is a flight instructor for the US Navy, but desperately wants to get back into flying with a fleet because he misses the action. He has trained many gifted and lucky pilots. He has some great buddies who are also flight instructors and they have shared many experiences over the years. They have lost some pretty good pilots along the way. Some from errors and others from their luck running out. This has saddened Sam, but he puts on a brave face.

Keely Silvers, a young woman aspiring to become a fighter pilot comes under Sam’s training as a fresh recruit. She is outspoken, talented at the helm, and somewhat carefree. Sam digs her but cannot let on since fraternizing is a big no-no within the Service and losing his edge in love cost him his last girlfriend.

Dusty Rhodes is another female in Silvers class along with numerous males. The two of them make a pact to stand united against the bullying of the men until they have a falling out. Sam’s flight instructor counterpart, JT takes dusty under his wings. She is so focused on getting things 100% perfect but lacking a bit of grit when required and he is working his best to ensure that she can actually do her job as designated despite some of the razzing he takes from Sam on this topic. Sam believes she may be unsafe.

Eventually, they all graduate and go on the learn how to take off and land on carriers instead of simulators. Dusty and Silvers are assigned to the same carrier and Sam manages to get a stint there too with his best flight instructor buddy JT.  Both had been promised to get out into the fleet after the graduation of their last class and they are anxious to feel the breeze on the carrier and the heat of the aircraft engines during take-off and landing.

The pilots are making marked progress. Finally, the get a real mission. There are enemyl bandits in the sky who wish to take them down. How will they fare? Will the succeed or fail? Will they complete their missions as required or crash and burn?

I love flying and would have loved to become a fighter pilot but had less than perfect vision. I truly enjoyed reading this book and believe you will too.

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