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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Dreams of the Philippines: Escape from Clark Air Base by Dave Ives is an interesting story with an international setting in the Philippines, an exciting blend of military and crime fiction. When US Air Force Second Lieutenant Sean Mitchell gets on the military cargo aircraft, the only thing on his mind is to have an adventure in the Philippines. But what was to be a pleasurable adventure turns into a life-threatening one as he gets involved with a street kid called Billy Bong. Billy is a young man with a street-side business and although Sean's admiration for the young man is genuine, his relationship with Billy puts him directly into conflict with some of the dirtiest criminals in Angeles City. Faced with a group of ruthless men, can he outrun them or will they get him before he can make it out of the Philippines?
This is a story that I enjoyed and, having been to Clark and Angeles in Pampanga several times, I could connect with the setting — see and feel the atmosphere, notice the back-ways, and the nightlife as described in the novel. The author brings out the setting in the Philippines with forensic clarity, allowing readers to experience the streets, the culture, and what life feels like, especially in Angeles. The protagonist’s naivety contrasts with the seeming hospitality of the natives, a hospitality that can easily mask the worst of intentions in Filipinos. The writing is upbeat and the narrative voice strong. The story has strong plot points and the curve in the conflict is well-developed. Dave Ives paints a vivid picture of a part of the Philippines in this narrative. The writing is beautiful and atmospheric and the conflict is well-handled. Dreams of the Philippines: Escape from Clark Air Base is captivating and entertaining.