Sunfire Romance Novels
In the 80s, the world was lit by Sunfire!

New Series: Historical Disasters

Happy 2013 to everyone! I had hoped to sneak this post in as the last of 2012, but that didn’t happen. But let’s start the new year off with a new series!

Starting in 1999, Simon Pulse published a series of six books that centered around American historical disasters. This series didn’t have an official name, so I’m calling them “Historical Disasters.” Although, one could also describe them as “Sunfire: The Next Generation.” These books were definitely more edgy. Main characters engage in sexual activity, although it’s more implied than described. In addition, the chosen hero doesn’t always survive. I think that element was a lot more shocking in books of this genre. You EXPECT the couple to live happily ever after.

Book 1 is Hindenburg: 1937 by Cameron Dokey.

Hindenburg: 1937 Front Cover (Credit: Cliff Nielsen)

Hindenburg: 1937 Front Cover (Credit: Cliff Nielsen)

Font Cover Blurb: In a time of fear, a love that will never die…

Main Character: Anna Becker, a 16-year-old German girl with pale blue eyes and honey-colored hair. She leaves Germany after the death of her grandfather to avoid becoming a pawn in the career plans of her Nazi brother, Kurt. She and her grandfather already had tickets for the journey of the Hinderburg to Lakehurst, New Jersey, so Anna takes her ticket and runs.

Suitor #1: Karl Mueller, Anna’s first love, who she suspects left her to become a Nazi spy. He has an ideal Nazi appearance with pale blond hair and deep blue eyes. It’s Anna’s bad luck that he’s traveling on the Hindenburg as well, since he threatens to return her to her brother…if she doesn’t report to him about the activities of Suitor #2.

Suitor #2: Erik Peterson, dark hair, forest green eyes. At first a stranger to Anna, he helps her board the Hinderburg without attracting too much attention. Then he remains attentive to her for the rest of the trip, taking her on tours of the ship and becoming a dinner partner. But is there more to him than meets the eye?

Setting: First Germany, then the Hindenburg’s journey, ending with the disaster at Lakehurst Air Field; late April through mid-May 1937, with some flashbacks to previous events.

On the Cover: Right, Anna; left, Karl; center, Erik; bottom, the burning airship.

Back Cover Blurb: “Anna, promise me…”

Hinderburg: 1937 Back Cover

Hinderburg: 1937 Back Cover

Similar Sunfire book: None, although this disaster is reminiscent of the sinking of the Titanic. The reader knows that both events will end in disaster, so there is a very limited time span for the action to take place.

I like a lot of books by Cameron Dokey, but this one doesn’t contain her best  main character. You have to feel for Anna, but you also want to shake her at times. In the end, she bungles just about everything. But that doesn’t mean you don’t root for her. And the setting is just so interesting and different. You could argue that it’s more German than American history, but the crash/fire did take place in America. It apparently only took about 30 seconds for this huge airship, which was only slightly smaller than the Titanic, to go up in flames. It’s shocking that most of the passengers actually survived. Was it sabotage? We’ll probably never know for sure, but as Dokey claims in her author note, it DOES make for a more interesting story. It also adds to the conflict if the saboteur was actually working against the Nazis.

NEXT UP: Yes, I’m slogging my way through Heather. Ugh.

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