Ascent by Jed Mercurio

Published September 26, 2022

Ascent by Jed Mercurio

Book info

  • Title Ascent
  • Author Jed Mercurio
  • Year 2007
  • Genre Historical

Yefgenii Yeremin is a flyer and a phantom. Destined to go down in Soviet history books as 'Ivan the Terrible', the most deadly fighter pilot of the Korean War, one moment of madness sees Yefgenii throwing his reputation to the wind. Exiled to a remote Arctic base, his name unknown and victories uncelebrated, he must endure a fate worse than death: anonymity. But when a man arrives from Moscow's Space Committee in search of a volunteer prepared to sacrifice himself for his country, Yefgenii seizes his one last chance of immortality.


I was intrigued by this, written by the brilliant mind behind Line of Duty. It’s an odd little book, chronicalling the life of a Russian from a troubled boyhood to a long stint flying planes in the military and then joining the space race against the US. It’s a good read and I thought the ending very impactful, but it does feel like it’s missing something. There’s not a lot of personality given to any of the characters, so it’s hard to get fully engaged. And some of the flying adventures are like reading Top Gun which I wasn’t so bothered about. But overall worth the read.

Rating: 3 / 5

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