The Bottom Line: A gripping psychological thriller about redemption wrapped in a rollicking time-travel plot, High Flying is a rare work of fiction that makes you feel better about humanity and the future.
Stunt Pilot Skylar Haines is an adrenaline junkie who lives on the edge. During an airshow, she nearly collides with another aircraft in a mysterious storm, only to land safely – in 1997. September 20, 2017 to be exact — eight months before her own birth, and just six days before her father died.
With just $48 in her pocket, a bump on her head and a suspicion that she might actually be dead, she manages to make it to her family house where her biological father – Dylan Haines – is indeed alive.
Is this a second chance to get to spend time with the Dad she never knew? Or is it more than that? Can she somehow prevent his death? Maybe so, but after witnessing Dylan, Lily and her grandfather have an explosive blowout, her first task is getting her future parents back together. Along the way, she’ll become an amateur sleuth and fixer who has to navigate a world full of villains like “The Chaplain,” the murderous leader of a vast drug cartel.
As in Kaylin McFarren’s Twisted Threads series, family loyalty is once again a strong theme running throughout the book. With Skylar’s very existence on the line, the personal stakes could not be higher. In part, what makes Skylar so compelling is that she has both grit and baggage in equal portions. In the timeline without her father, she’s depressed and self-destructive, cutting herself to relieve stress. But she’s also clever and introspective, making her easy to root for. More importantly, McFarren has rendered her noble, which is refreshing in an age where anti-heroes rule.
In the Audiobook version, Skylar’s journey is passionately voiced by Linda Jones. As is often the case with great audiobooks, Jones doesn’t read the book so much as she performs it. In the process, she adds an entirely new dimension to the character, giving listeners an enhanced experience over the print version.