Monday, 30 June 2014

Book Review : Along The Watchtower by David Litwack

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Publication Date: June 13, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

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.

My Review

Dr Sanchit Bhandari

Short Review
Along the watch tower—a book which takes you on a journey of self discovery, amalgamating the fantasy and real it for a rare experience.
Full Review
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
-mark (5:34)
David Liwack’s Along the watch tower takes the reader on a trip to his inner world bridging the mystical fantasy to harsh reality. The best part of the book is its beautiful prose, excellent editing, heart breaking emotion, breathtaking drama, balancing gritty reality and magical fantasy. The book just keeps the reader glued.
The narration is one of the best I have come across in recent times and the quotes are just irresistible. The narration never lags behind nor does it over empathizes or becomes too fast in all the 212 pages. You just keep on reading without even realizing that actually you are no more in the real world but have entered the fictionalized world created the writer.
Lieutenant Freddie Williams is a justifiable, believable character and one of the best crafted protagonist. The book follows his POV as he wakes on a stretcher after an IED explosion and soon enters a medically Induced coma, in which he finds himself in a world of fantasy where he is Dauphin who has 30 days to save his kingdom. In those thirty days to save he will go through a series of magical challenges, which he must overcome to save his people from the Horde, in the real world he will have to face his own demon to heal, not only his body but also his soul.
The characters are very well portrayed and corresponds to each other as the book progress. You keep on comparing the real and the fantasy world and realize how the mind is playing the trick, how the world changes with the smallest of hopes and desires.
I fell in love with Rebecca as soon as she entered and of course Becky holds the center stage with her sympathetic yet firm attitude. She didn’t just limit herself to heal physical injuries but did her best to help Fredrick reach at terms with himself, his past and his present.
The highlight of the book is the emotional aspect of the war, shown the just not to portray the soldiers as heroes or gods, but shows the horrors of the war with veterans being the victims of politics
Facing PTSD and many horrific disorders some of them have lost their life and what remains are being eaten by street dogs. The other less fortunate one survived and had to face a fate much worse than death itself
Lieutenant Williams being one of the survivor have lost his leg and with it his only dream of making a dunk. as the story progresses you realize that Iraq is not the only thing that went wrong and IED was not the only thing that tore him inside out both in the real and fantasy world. His life is a hell and love his only way out.
Only by facing his inner demon both in real and fantasy world did he find peace and all along the journey was great. The way both the world corresponds each other, keeps readers transfixed and after some time you lose your hold on reality and enter a fictional world where you wonder what is real and what is a figment of Imagination.
Overall Along the watch tower was a great read and well worth reading. I just can’t remember any book being better in recent times.A Well deserved 5 star

The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned. His novels include: There Comes a Prophet, Along the Watchtower, and the newly released The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky.

David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

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