Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: Along the Watchtower by David Litwack

Along the Watchtower, by David Litwack
2013, 214 p, My Rating=4 stars
Content: Swearing, including "f" word

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. (Amazon)

This book goes back and forth between Lt. Freddie Williams as he's recovering from an IED explosion and Frederick, Prince of Stormwind. Lt. Freddie Williams is  having a hard time coping with his memories so he goes into the dream world when he closes his eyes. As Prince Frederick, his father, the king, has just died and his kingdom is protected by magic which is bestowed on the reigning king. With his father dead, the magic will start to fade. Prince Frederick has thirty days to overcome the trials to succeed his father to the throne. Not much is known about what he'll need to go through but he learns that the assassins that are after him aren't trying to physically harm him but their goal is to bring him to despair.

As Lt. Freddie Williams, he meets his physical therapist, Becky, and she helps him get his physical strength back. He finds himself opening up to her about his life and family and we learn what brought him to where he is today. He has lots of demons so will she be able to break through or will he emotionally keep his distance from her?

I thought the premise to this book was interesting: A soldier going through a traumatic experience and dealing with it through living in a dream world at nights. His life as a soldier deals with his physical ailments and life as a prince deals with his emotional issues and shows how they merge together to become one person. I liked reading about his relationships with the people he came in contact with at the hospital: doctors, staff and physical therapists. He has a hard time and takes some steps forward and then will relapse. He has so many questions about who he is now and how to move forward with his life.

I know that World of Warcraft is a big part of this book, too, but since I'm not familiar with the game at all, I probably missed a lot of references. This book is well written and I enjoyed it. There were parts that moved kind of slow and there was a little too much swearing for me, especially the "f" word.

Tomorrow I will share an excerpt from each of his books, Along the Watchtower and There Comes a Prophet, so you can see if these are books you would be interested in reading.

The urge to write first struck at age sixteen when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the wild night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by the 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 — and without prior plan — 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.

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.

hWatchtower Tour Badge

As 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.

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Andrea said...

I'm not a World of Warcraft player either, so I probably missed some references too, but I thought it didn't get to detailed into the whole mythology of WOW. But I could be mistaken and I just saw it as a fantasy world.
I agree that the relationships are a great part of this book! I also liked how characters showed up in both the real and fantasy world.

Melanie said...

I didn't mean to imply that the fantasy world was based on WOW and I also think it was just a fantasy world. I put that in so anyone interested in WOW would know that was part of the book, if that would tip their interest towards reading it. The characters showing up in both worlds was a great touch and showed what a great storyteller Mr. Litwack is.

Emlyn Chand said...

Great review, Mel! I'm so glad you enjoyed Along the Watchtower. I, too, appreciated the dual story lines and how deftly they were woven together! 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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