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Hornet Flight

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,732 Ratings  ·  578 Reviews
Ken Follett follows his bestsellers Jackdaws and Code to Zero with an extraordinary novel of early days of World War II...It is June 1941 and the war is not going well for England. Across the North Sea, eighteen-year-old Harald Olufsen takes a shortcut on the German-occupied Danish island of Sande an discovers an astonishing sight that will change the momentum of the war. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 518 pages
Published November 25th 2003 by Signet (first published December 2nd 2002)
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Onalaja Gbenga
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The Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettFall of Giants by Ken FollettWorld Without End by Ken FollettEye of the Needle by Ken FollettWinter of the World by Ken Follett
Ken Follett Novels
10th out of 24 books — 152 voters
Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki HoustonThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankMartin Heidegger by Rüdiger Safranski1939 - The War That Had Many Fathers by Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof
Best WWII Fiction and Biography
69th out of 319 books — 447 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alan Gallagher
Jan 07, 2010 Alan Gallagher rated it liked it
I've read only one other book by Ken Follett. It was Pillars of the Earth and I really enjoyed reading that one. I had high expectations for this and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. It was my first spy novel, so I don't have much to compare it to.

Honestly, it was gripping and well written. The thing I like most about it, was the fact that Follett really does a great job with leaving out the details that your imagination can fill in. Where other authors might tell you all the details o
O Ken Follett é um dos meus autores favoritos, mas este livro deixou-me totalmente desiludido!!

Podia ser uma história prometedora e interessante sobre a Resistência Dinamarquesa, quando a Dinamarca esteve sob a ocupação de Hitler, mas infelizmente a história não passa para além do que a sinopse revela.

“Os aviões que partem em missões de bombardeamento são sistematicamente abatidos pelos esquadrões germânicos, como se de algum modo estes conhecessem os planos de ataque da RAF. Uma agente do MI6
Apr 22, 2013 Sverre rated it liked it
Shelves: novels-thriller
I can't understand why Follett named this thriller 'Hornet Flight.' Already from one third through the book we know it is going to end with a flight by the Hornet Moth and from half way through we know who will be flying. It would have been so much better if he had given it a neutral title which most of his other books have. The Nazi iron cross on the cover begs the question "why?" German Nazis play a minor role in the story and no German will be awarded the cross for valour as a result of event ...more
Jul 07, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
I've been on a Ken Follett kick lately. He writes characters that I like, despite occasionally showing their stock-character seams. This story was especially good - Danish folks getting involved in the Resistance against Nazis, and the Danish police who are torn between doing their duty for their new bosses in funny pants or shirking responsibility. I had put off reading this because I have a hard time, in war stories, reading page upon page of descriptive on planes, trucks, guns, and the trappi ...more
May 23, 2011 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was excellent and I enjoyed reading about WW 2 again in an exciting and engaging book that was taken from the prospective of the Danes instead of the American's and British. The one thing I did not like was all of the sex, it did nothing for the story although it was interesting to watch the progression of Peter's downhill ride as he became more and more obsessed with catching his countrymen who were against the occupation by Germany. As he became more set on power and glory and recogn ...more
Feb 20, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-group
The book had a library sticker on the spine that said "Adventure". It really was an adventure masquerading as a WWII thriller set mostly in occupied Denmark. It focused on Danish efforts to share critical (but nerdy) German military secrets with the British.....and of course the sadistic, collaborator police detective nemesis. There is a bit more technical information than I like, but it was entertainingly told so I have temporary mental custody of Hornet Moth flight control terms and radar dete ...more
Apr 17, 2011 Matt rated it it was ok
Disappointing. Ken Follet is one of my favorite authors and I am an avid fan of historical fiction, especially anything aviation, world war II, or espionage. I thought this book would be an instant favorite. Although it is written masterfully as only Follet can do, the context/plot just isn't there. I feel the story could have been told in 75 pages. It's almost as if the rest of the book is excess weight- padding- to give the book that 'classic' feel that Follet normally does so well.
Joao Feiteira
Sep 01, 2013 Joao Feiteira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mais um grande livro. Quanto mais livros leio do Ken Follett, mais me apaixono pela sua escrita. Este Voo Final conta uma história de espionagem passada durante a 2ª guerra mundial, e mais não digo... apenas digo que é impossível largar o livro desde a primeira à última página. 5*
Mar 11, 2016 Kelanth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guerra
Il volo del calabrone, in originale "Hornet Flight" è un romanzo del 2002 di Ken Follett incentrato sulla resistenza danese all'occupazione nazista durante la seconda guerra mondiale, e pubblicato in Italia nel 2003 dalla Mondadori. Alcuni dei libri di Follett hanno raggiunto la prima posizione del New York Times, tra cui "Triplo", "Il Codice Rebecca", "Un letto di leoni"... Due dei suoi romanzi, "I pilastri della terra" e "La cruna dell'ago", sono stati inseriti nella lista dei 101 best-seller ...more
Magda Pais
Jan 08, 2015 Magda Pais rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-own, 2015
É, com certeza, notório que KF é um dos meus escritores favoritos. Os seus livros tem, quase sempre, uma ponta de verdade e respeitam a verdade histórica, o que os torna, para mim, bastante apetecíveis. Ainda assim e apesar disso, não foi dos meus livros favoritos deste autor. Talvez culpa da intensidade que senti com a Trilogia o Século. Por esta razão é chegada a altura de fazer uma pausa na leitura de Ken Follett para depois voltar a conseguir apreciar devidamente os seus livros.

Estamos em Ju
Oct 14, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing
This is a book that takes place in occupied Denmark during World War 2 in 1941 and involves a German radar station and a network of spies trying to get the warning to the British.
The British are losing a high percentage of bombers, and it’s almost as though the Germans know where they’re going to be. It is thought that the Germans’ progress on developing radar can’t be the explanation, but a young Dane discovers otherwise. Getting the info into Allied hands proves to be dicey, because the young
Nov 01, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing
This is another classic Ken Follet, a suspenseful historical fiction.
The book was excellent and worth the read, however, it is not an analysis I want to share.

There were a few moments of humor. This was for me, my favorite quote, between a classy English lady Hermia (seperated by war from her fiance) and her would be suitor.

"But you know I have to get in touch with my fiance. He is the only person I can trust to help us."
"And I'll probably see him all the sooner in consequence."
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 Frederick Bingham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of the Danish resistance during WWII. The Germans have occupied Denmark, and the police, goaded by the Gestapo, are on the prowl for spies. Harald Olufssen is a student at a boarding school when he gets drunk and paints an anti-Nazi slogan on a kiosk in Denmark. He is led from there to a police interrogation to an active role in the resistance.Hermia Mount is a british daughter of a diplomat who speaks Danish and helps to organize the resistance. Peter Fleming is a Danish boyhood ...more
Sophie Schiller
Nov 29, 2012 Sophie Schiller rated it really liked it
Hornet Flight is a fast-paced WWII thriller that centers on the adventures of Harald Olufson, an industrious, self-sacrificing Danish youth of eighteen, a classic Scandinavian blond with an ingrained love of tinkering with engines and getting things to work. It is this particular characteristic that drives the story forward. Harald is about to undertake a serious mission for the Allies that will have serious repercussions for the war effort. Harald must deliver sensitive photos of an ultra-secre ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, wwii, espionage
A good story based partly on fact. Set in Denmark in 1941, the protagonist, 19 year old Harald Olufsen stumbles across a German radar system on the Danish Island of Sande. This experimental radar installation enables the Germans to pinpoint the flight of the allied bombers early and to direct the Luffwaffe fighters to their target accurately. As a result the allies lose an unacceptably large number of bombers. With London trying to get information from the Danish contacts of Hermia Mount, and th ...more
Joe Stamber
Feb 25, 2014 Joe Stamber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Another enjoyable wartime thriller from Ken Follett. Not as good as Eye of the Needle but too good for a 3 star rating. The setting of 1940s occupied Denmark was a new one for me and seemed authentic, although I was never there! Follett certainly created the right atmosphere for his novel. The characters were good, although there was an occasional tendency for one of them to panic about something happening that the reader knew wasn't going to... but that's a minor quibble. A great story, genuine ...more
Michael Llewellyn
Jul 24, 2013 Michael Llewellyn rated it liked it
Colorful and engaging although far from Follett's best spy caper. (The plot is thoroughly explained in other Goodreads reviews so no need to reiterate.) Unfortunately much of the suspense is undone by the promo copy on the fly leaf, so the reader knows too much before picking up the book. That being said, it's still fun to follow the well-defined characters to a foregone conclusion. Follett throws enough curve balls to keep things moving and has certainly done his homework about life and the res ...more
Debbie Evancic
Jun 09, 2014 Debbie Evancic rated it really liked it
I picked up this audiobook because I love Ken Follett. Although completely different than Pillars of the Earth and many of his other books, I still loved it.

The story unfolds in Denmark during WWII. Due to the hatred of the Nazis, Harold and Karen flew an old biplane over water, with hardly enough fuel for the journey. All of this was to expose The Nazis Radar Installation, by handing over the formation code. The Nazis were using the Radar to shoot down planes and breaking the formation code wa
Jan 26, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story, well written and researched. Ken Follett always keeps me entertained with his fast past action.
Jan 13, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
Since I love Follett's Pillars of the Earth duo and the more recent Century Trilogy, I thought I read his older books too. He wrote a number of good thriller types simply as a way to make some money to support his real interest of studying cathedrals which led to Pillars of the Earth (which everyone should read sometime). He didn't think much of his WWII thriller genre but he is such a great story teller that they are still really fun to read when you just want simple entertainment. Key to Rebec ...more
David Lowther
Jan 17, 2016 David Lowther rated it it was amazing
I've recently completed Norman Davies' Europe A, History, more than 1200 pages long. Although it was brilliantly written and utterly absorbing, I felt I needed some light relief so I turned to an old favourite, Ken Follett and his brilliant 'boys own' type story Hornet Flight.
Set in Denmark in 1941, the book tells the tale of a teenage boy, about to leave for university, who unwittingly stumbles across a top secret German installation which, as it turns out, is giving the Nazis a big advantage i
Mar 24, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, warfare
It would be fair to say that I could not put this book down. But it was worse than that, I couldn't stop reading it even after I should have stopped! The chapters were variable length and dealt with different characters at different parts of the story, and used cliffhangers and plot devices to great effect. I've found that these "We must get this information to the other side" stories to be a bit hit and miss, but this one for me was an enormous hit.
May 10, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing
It was a great book about the resistance in Denmark! It also talked about Sweden's clandestine help in the WW11!!! My Father's cousin told me how they helped people go across to Norway They were in Arvika (Varmland). Near the border to Norway! I have visited many of the locations which were in the book, also making it special! Do read if you like Spy Stories about The 2nd WW!
Laura J
I enjoyed this Follett book more than the last one I read. It's set in Denmark, a country I like, and I have visited the Museum of Danish Resistance in Copenhagen, so the story attracted me. Interesting epilogue ending.
(I've been picking up novels at accommodations where I've been staying while travelling, so the choice hasn't been conducive to checking books off my To Read list.)
Aug 05, 2014 Emma rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read.

For a starter historical fiction set during world war II always fascinates me, it was a time of courage, heroes, spies, patriotism, and sacrifice … Well this book has it all!

Plus the narration is gripping and full of suspense, in a perfect Follett’s style.

This is simply one of those books you just can’t put down.

Loved it.
Jan 01, 2010 Paula rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
Really enjoyed this book, but then I've never read anything by Ken Follett that I haven't liked. This is the story of a teenager faced with having to fly an old plane from Denmark to England to deliver top-secret intelligence during WWII.
Dec 27, 2013 Nico rated it really liked it
Interesting WWII story playing in Denmark, a not commonly used setting for a ww2 history novel. As allways Ken Follett deliveres a well paced story with good characters, though this is gladly not one of his tomes ( just 400+ pages :P )
Aug 28, 2015 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Not my favorite Ken Follett book - "Winter of the World" holds that spot by far, but I still really enjoyed this book.

I wish Goodreads had 10 stars- I would give this one a 9/10.

Great WW II read!
Nov 23, 2015 Corielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Okay, yes, it's another World War II book by Ken Follett. That makes my third this year? This one has much more in common with Jackdaws than Winter of the World: smaller cast of characters, tighter timeline, and I read the whole thing on a two hour plane ride (as opposed to Winter of the World, which took several weeks all told).

Hornet Flight takes place in 1941, primarily in Denmark. A resistance movement there has been compromised, and their leader needs desperately to get information about th
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Ken Follett burst onto the book world in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, a taut and original thriller with a memorable woman character in the central role. The book won the Edgar award and became an outstanding film.

He went on to write four more bestselling thrillers: Triple; The Key to Rebecca; The Man from St Petersburg; and Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of ho
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“Fear could paralyse. Action was the antidote.” 11 likes
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