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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Project Vita is a collection of historical short stories written by Charlie Jin. The three of them were late, of course, their third time that month, but this time it was a prelude to something larger, more momentous, darker. They dashed along the rows of bombers gleaming in the darkness, waiting for their pilots to embark, staff waiting to hand over their parachutes, packed and ready. The three pilots were code-named Guerrilla Force 728, 231 and 827. They had been assigned to continue the Kassel bombing -- their objective was the annihilation of Dresden, Germany. Guerrilla leader’s voice was flat and dispassionate as he uttered the commands that would destroy the city and all its inhabitants.
Charlie Jin’s collection of historical short stories, Project Vita, is a darkly compelling work that focuses on an aspect of World War II history that few care to revisit. While history judges Germany and its mad Fuhrer at fault for the horrors and atrocities, the young boy whose initial fascination with the planes flying overhead turns to horror as they rain down death is an eloquent representative of the victims few ever think about. Those of us who are aware of the Kassel bombing can find neither reason nor rationale behind the firestorm designed to utterly destroy an historic and vibrant city and culture. Jin’s tale captures that horror and the need for the downed pilot to find some redemption is poignant and powerful. This author shines a much-needed light in a dark place indeed where few ever enter. This well-written collection is most highly recommended.