19 August 2015

Review: Oslo Overture by Marion Ueckermann

Sheppard meets Angel

Anjelica Joergensen—Angel—is one of the few females in the male-dominated world of professional wingsuit flyers. Not only is it a dangerous occupation, it’s one which attracts daredevils with too little thought for safety. She’s lost her heart to a fellow wingsuiter once before, and isn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

Kyle Sheppard has travelled all the way from New Zealand to Norway with his wingsuit team to participate in a record-setting jump as part of Norway’s National Day celebrations. He immediately gets off on the wrong foot with the pretty wingsuiter, which is unfortunate as he is attracted to her. But he’s not interested in anyone who doesn’t share his Christian faith, and she doesn’t seem to be interested in him, either …

It’s great to see a Kiwi character in a Christian novel, especially one who is recognisably Kiwi without being cliché. Some might see the team performing the haka as cliché, but who’s going to argue with men performing a war dance, especially when the translation—it is death, it is life—is so apt for those participating in such a dangerous sport. For those of you who have never seen a haka performed, get thee to an All Black test … or visit YouTube.

It’s also great to see fictional women in unusual surroundings and occupations, and to see two characters for whom the Christian faith is a lifestyle, not something to be mentioned once or twice to qualify them for the Christian bookstore (sorry, but I’m getting a little tired of “Christian” novels which aren’t. If they aren’t, that’s fine. Just don’t publish them as Christian novels. Sorry. Rant over).

The main characters were likeable, and I wanted them to get together right from the start. There were also some good minor characters, especially Eric and Luke, and I’d like to see more of them … (hint, hint). The writing is strong, and the novella was an enjoyable if brief break from daily life.

There are a couple of characters in Olso Overtures who were in Marian Ueckermann’s previous novella, Helsinki Sunrise, but the two novellas are standalone stories (I haven’t read Helsinki Sunrise, but am tempted to add it to my ever-growing to-read pile. I’m told self-control is a virtue. When it comes to books, it’s not a virtue I possess).

I’m always a sucker for a good romance, especially one with an out-of-the-ordinary setting, and Oslo Overtures ticks all the boxes for what I think a Christian romance should be. Recommended for those who like extreme sports and exotic locations (whether participating and visiting in real life or vicariously through fiction!).

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

This counts towards my 2015 Reading Challenge as a book set in another country. Yes, most books I read are set in another country but I figured Norway was a whole lot more exotic than my usual US/UK literary destinations!


  1. Iola, thanks so much for such a great review. I must admit, when I realised you were a New Zealander, going to review my Norwegian/Kiwi characters and stories, I began to tremble slightly (actually quite a lot) in my boots. Glad I didn't disappoint.

    ps. You are not the only one hinting at Luke's story. I am going to have to write that one soon. I guess the thing stopping me is how to write his story without it being another wingsuiter story. It'll come to me, I'm sure.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Marion. I hope you come up with some ideas for Luke!