“Those who will defend authority against rebellion must not themselves rebel.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

So this was a donation from the Grandparents, a couple of years ago, which I hadn’t got around to reading until now, my TBR pile being what it is. And…I might as well not have bothered, really.

Jackdaws is a novel about a female group of special agents (the Jackdaws) who parachute into occupied France (this being 1944) to blow up a telephone exchange vital to the Nazi regime. Things started to go downhill on page 7:

His careless grin had won her heart when she was a student at the Sorbonne.

Urgh. Excuse me while I throw up.

And from there on out it is a cliche-ridden, predictable, boring mess of a story. There is info-dumping en masse, which I really can’t be bothered with; if I wanted to know everything there is to know about German military tactics in WWII I would read a history book, not a novel. The writing is simplistic at best, and at worst reminds me of those books you get in Year One when you’re learning to read:

When they finished supper, it was time to go to the airfield.

All in all, not really worth anyone’s time. The writing is bad, and you can tell that Jackdaws is aimed specifically at British or American audiences because there’s almost no differentiation between the two sides, no explanation of why we should root for the British and not the Germans. You’re just supposed to want the Jackdaws to succeed because they are British.

So, in summary: I didn’t like this book. That’s all that needs saying, really.


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