Ty Sackette is a young Canadian man with the world at his feet. Handsome, intelligent, and with a natural athletic ability that seemingly has him on a collision course with a dazzling career in the National Hockey League, his future seems neatly laid out before him. That is until a freak injury derails his plans and leaves him drifting through life with no direction. Luckily for Ty, fate intervenes and delivers him to an air show, which captures his imagination and compels him to join the Canadian Air Force. Here, his remarkable natural talent in the cockpit quickly catapults him up the chain of command, and into a series of senior roles within the military that take him into conflict in the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and even Canada, as he battles terrorists and enemies overseas and on home soil.
Going by his pilot handle ‘Jade’, our hero finds himself in some truly incredible situations, from intense dogfights to enduring gruesome torture, and daring escapes to valiant rescue missions. These are the strongest elements of Rick Zyvitski’s story–they are frequently nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat romps straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster. The first third of FATE HAS CONTROL is much slower-paced, dealing instead with Jade’s meteoric rise up the ladder of the Canadian Air Force and introducing the supporting cast of characters, from romantic interests to wingmen to rivals. It sets the scene nicely for the coming conflicts, but we learn little of our protagonist beyond his quite incredible talent and leadership skills.
Throughout the text there is a lot of technical information concerning the various aircraft Jade flies and the complexities of his military operations. Clearly Zyvitski is hugely knowledge in these areas, and anyone with an interest in these fields will lap up the detail, but for the uninitiated, these sections can be tough to digest. While there is a plethora of information about the planes, some of the characters feel underdeveloped, including Susan, Jade’s on again, off again love interest, and his children, Ty Junior and Madisson.
Roughly midway through the story it is revealed that Jade has amassed a vast fortune. This helps to steer the narrative, but it’s a detail that feels a little forced. Hitherto there is little or no mention of Jade’s financial interests, and suddenly he’s a multi-millionaire. What gives? As the story progresses, we learn more about Jade’s vast business empire, and the latter sections deal more closely with his commercial successes, but he’s never far from the battlefield as old enemies come back to haunt him. Chief amongst these is Arkarma, an Afghan warlord, whose pursuit of revenge against Jade drives the story towards its denouement.
There is plenty of style on show here, and Zyvitski deserves credit for crafting a fun read that will appeal to anyone with an interest in the world of fighter pilots, air combat, and state-of-the-art jets. Yet the curtain is never pulled back to reveal the inner workings of Jade and his life, and the romantic element of the plot comes across as an afterthought.
An elite fighter pilot battles a myriad of foes both personally and professionally in an enjoyable page-turner with a few gripping action sequences in FATE HAS CONTROL.
~Joseph Sharratt for Indie Reader