Friday, 26 July 2013

Novel Publicity Whirlwind Tour stop; Review: Along the Watchtower by David Litwack

Publication date: June 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
Stars: 3.5/5
Source: Review copy (as a part of the blog tour)
A Tragic Warrior Lost in Two Worlds…

The war in Iraq ended for Lieutenant Freddie Williams when an IED explosion left his mind and body shattered. Once he was a skilled gamer and expert in virtual warfare. Now he’s a broken warrior, emerging from a medically induced coma to discover he’s inhabiting two separate realities. The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse—and slow rehabilitation through the tender care of Becky, his physical therapist. The second is a dark fantasy realm of quests, demons, and magic that Freddie enters when he sleeps.

In his dreams he is Frederick, Prince of Stormwind, who must make sense of his horrific visions in order to save his embattled kingdom from the monstrous Horde. His only solace awaits him in the royal gardens, where the gentle words of the beautiful gardener, Rebecca, calm the storms in his soul. While in the conscious world, the severely wounded vet faces a strangely similar and equally perilous mission—a journey along a dark road haunted by demons of guilt and memory—and letting patient, loving Becky into his damaged and shuttered heart may be his only way back from Hell.

REVIEW

An IED explosion leaves a shattered Lieutenant and skilled gamer with two alternate realities: one filled with pain, attempts at half-hearted recuperation, reality hitting him in flashbacks and present tense… and the other -manifested in his dreams- a surge of quests, trials and tangible obstacles leading to the him being crowned King.

What unites these two realities?

o The fact that they are happening to the same person: the Lieutenant, who took his job seriously, took the losses suffered from war hard and used to play World of Warcraft with his army buddies.

o The compassionate woman reaching out to them: Becky/Rebecca who gives the protagonist/hero hope/latent hope.

o Fragments of memories/clues; an aftermath of the war that help them make sense of all he has lost and question all that is left.

Along the Watchtower was unlike anything I have ever read… it was surreal, sometimes baffling and most times brilliant. The realistic/fantastical narratives ran parallel to each other with brilliant points of overlap and chronicled the effects of war, the parables of loss and the comforting and magical nature of social support. It illustrated the horrors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and curious ways employed by the mind and heart to heal.

I’m not going to lie… it took me a while to gain sure footing as I journeyed through the book… I felt like we were thrust into two completely different floors of the Lieutenant’s mind at the same time and it took me a while to comprehend it all. But once I did, I was fascinated by the parallels in characterization, the contrasting feel of the well-written narratives and the Lieutenant/Dauphin’s slow progress through the trials before him.

When the Lieutenant’s reality tore me apart, there was always the magic and cheeriness of his dream-(albeit dark) quest that rearranged his abstract worries and painful memories. Over the course of the book, you will learn to fear and embrace the assassin, make sense of the layers of memory and despair that plague the Lieutenant as he reconstructs the events before his injury and feel the warmth that comes from reading a good book that arrives that a satisfactory ending… in this case, endings as both the recuperation from the war effort and bridging of familial loss, unconscious advancing of trials and braving through the medieval quest are done justice to.

Rating: ★★★1/2
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Watchtower Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, both Along the Watchtower and There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack are on sale this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $650 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win! To win the prizes:
  1. Pick up Along the Watchtower at its discounted price of $2.99 on Amazon
  2. Get There Comes a Prophet at its discounted price of 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  4. Visit the featured social media events
  5. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.
Along the Watchtower tells of a tragic warrior lost in two worlds; a woman who may be his only way back from Hell. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes. There Comes a Prophet A thousand years ago the Darkness came—a time of violence and social collapse. Nathaniel has grown up in their world of limits, longing for something more. For what are we without dreams? Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

David Litwack, the once and future writer, explores the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.  Visit David on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


5 comments:

  1. Great review Pooja, I will be reviewing this in August and I am glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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  2. This sounds completely different to something I might normally go far, but I'm definitely curious after your review! I like the sound of the parallel storylines. I imagine that could be quite interesting to follow. Thanks for drawing this to my attention, Pooja. Great review as always! :)

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  3. Another awesome review, Pooja! Thank you for joining us on this tour, and please take a quick moment to cross-post your review to Amazon and GoodReads--both places are huge for helping great books gain exposure.

    Emlyn :-)

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  4. PTSD is always a troubling and interesting topic, I like that this book approaches it with the alternate reality take. I don't often read military book, but if I was going to I would check this out.

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HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)