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The Numbers Game Review
Oh man… This was intense.
The Battle of Britain rages. London is in flames, and civilization itself totters on the brink. Does Pilot Officer Maurice Mickelwhite care? Not one damn. He may be one of the better fighter pilots in the Royal Air Force, but it's not by choice. Maurice is a mathematical genius, who, if not for Hitler, would be happily teaching algebra and calculus at university. To hell with the war! Maurice just wants his numbers.
Trouble is...the numbers also want him.
Oh man… This was intense. This was my second story by Watson going into this, so I knew to expect something morbid. And this did not disappoint.
We follow a mathematician who’s been drafted into the military for WWII. Now a pilot, the only thing keeping him sane, to himself at least, are numbers. Or more specifically, the numbers game - the probability of his chance of survival, of anyone’s survival really.
This was such a unique read. I’ve read several historical fictions set around WWII, but none of them were quite like this. The others, while never truly sugarcoating the horrors that were faced, they weren’t as morbid as this was. Being set in our pilot’s perspective, we see him a bit detached to death. It was hard at times to read through the amount of death he would see during his missions. Often coming across callous. Yet, at the same time, I understood it. He mentally prepared himself for his own death.
Being set in our pilot’s perspective, we see him a bit detached to death.
And while I did not find the ending surprising, it definitely broke my heart. I don’t tend to cry at books. But this one brought me very close to tears. The ending was truly heartbreaking.
I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction set around war, or specifically WWII. And doesn’t mind a few more gruesome details.