The Ethereal Squadron
By Shami Stovall
Review By Jacob Pelley
It’s 1916, and the world is on fire.
The Great War has already consumed much of the globe, but a second, secret war between sorcerers threatens to crack it in two. The ruling families of Germany and Austria-Hungary, those with the chill of magic in their blood, will stop at nothing in their quest for power, and they’ve drawn the entire world into a bloody war because of it.
But Florence Cavell—codename Geist—means to stop them. She had to defy her family, cut her hair, and disguise herself as a man to join the legendary Ethereal Squadron: a joint US-UK division of the allied powers’ mightiest sorcerers. Armed with her powerful specter sorcery, which allows her to “ghost” through bullets and barbed wire alike, Geist fights a tireless battle to end the war once and for all.
But then the Germans unleash the Grave-Maker Gas, a concoction so deadly it destroys everything it touches and transforms even the strongest sorcerers into terrible monsters. Even her ghostly magic can’t resist the gas’s corrosive power, and it costs Geist everything she loves—her team, her friends, even the use of an arm.
This is the new weapon that could end the war—and give the Germans the world.
Now Geist must risk it all to lead a new team deep into hostile territory to discover the source of this terrifying new technology before the enemy sets it loose upon the world. Will she be able to stop the Grave-Maker Gas before it’s too late…or will the secrets of her past finally catch up with her?
World war 1 the war to end all wars. In 1916 Europe saw some of its most intense battles of the entire war. The Gallipoli campaign, Somme, Jutland and of course the battle of Verdun. This book takes place during the events in Verdun. A battle that lasted over 300 days. In Verdun trenches lead to vast no man’s lands. Where pitfalls, machine guns, artillery fire a waited you. A normal soldier would lucky if they lived longer than 3 weeks battling on this front. Thankfully our main hero is no normal soldier. Right from the start we follow our hero Florence a human sorcerer right into battle. Magic lives in this world and she is part of an elite squad of magic users fighting for the triple entente “The Ethereal Squadron”. Her team is tasked with saving a captured unit of sorcerers. During her rescue mission the German front line is overtaken by the entente. Desperate they unleashed a new magic tech gas which kills or mangles all it touches. Which sends Geist “Florence” on a missions to discover its originals before the axis can wipe everyone out with its new deadly weapon.
Florence “Geist” Cavell- Practitioner of Specter magic which allows her to go invisible and intangible. A useful skill when you are on the battlefield that had one of the most bullets fired in history. She is a woman pretending to be a man that goes by the name Charles Weston. Remember this is at a time where the closets a women can be in combat is serving as a nurse, or office staff. Her world is battle torn and captivating. This character’s motivations and intentions were clear. Of all the books I have read so far this one is the best thought out. The only downside to this story is that now I want to learn more about this characters world. Like Harry Potter this world will leave you wanting to explore more of it.
Recommendations and Ratings
If you are a fan of Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Fiction, and Urban Fantasy this book could be for you. Books that are similar: Harry Potter, and Dresden File. I enjoyed reading this book immensely. It hit everything I look for in a book. There was a great story, all the characters even the support were enjoyable and well written. I would rate this book 5/5 for anyone over the age of 13. This book is not for people under that age as it does go over some of the more graphic parts of WW1. I do not hold that against the author in anyway when it comes to her choice of storytelling. If anything it give the story more gravitas. War is brutal, ugly and no one is safe on the battlefield. This is one of those books that earned its spot on the very limited space I have left on my bookshelf. Like the Hunger Games, Fablehaven and World War Z the readability of this book is high. If you want to check out other works of this author you can find them here
I hope enjoyed my book review for The Ethereal Squadron: A Wartime Fantasy (The Sorcerers of Verdun)