Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Far From the War

Far From The War

Author: Jeffrey David Payne
Pages: 366
Publisher: Roche Harbor Books
Source: Review copy- Thank you so much!
Synopsis: Economic ruin and partisan rancor have pushed America to the brink of a new civil war. Esther is caught in the middle, serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives when rogue politicians and military leaders stage a modern day coup d’état. When the coup turns violent, she abandons Washington, D.C. for home. She must learn to survive on her own as transportation and financial networks fail, as the war disrupts food and water supplies. The result is a cautionary tale about political extremism and the true cost of war.

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Far From the War was a battering, brutal story of war. Honestly, it leaves me wanting to be more active and make sure nothing like that ever happens. But the shocking reality is that it does happen! How many stories do we hear on the news of revolutions and fights for control?

The strength of this book was the fact that it didn't shy down from the aspects of war. We met soldiers from both sides, we learnt of the obliteration of several cities. There were violent and painful deaths. There were good people, bad people, desperation, hope. There was an appropriately large range of characters each with their own quirks. I feel like crying right now thinking this is what people go through.

Esther is the main character here. She's strong, smart, and seriously witty. I liked Esther in the way I like a role model. She was so incredible and knowledgeable all the time. I couldn't relate to that part. Esther certainly doesn't have it easy. What she goes through... It's a heck of a journey. So much sorrow and tears.

With all the death, you'd expect this book to be a "sad" story. You know, the kind of book that is heart-wrenching and makes you tear up. With dramatic scenes and the whole nine yards. While there was plenty of material to make this a "sad story" it was more of a survival story. If you have nightmares, are squeamish or queasy, you may have trouble with Far From the War. It's very much smart a story for mature audiences.

Plot and interest wise, this book had me hooked. I learned early on to pay careful attention to what's happening and I'm a daydreamer so sometimes I wander off to another world. Not with this book. I reread certain parts to get the full impact. The story had me addicted and reading far into the night.

I do have to mention the little problems I had too though. First, Esther didn't feel like a normal teen. She's 17 and serious, yes, but she never really ever mentioned anything that someone in my generation would know. She used some language but some parts of her character had me thinking, "Hmmm, really?" I wasn't always convinced of her emotion. That may have been due to the fact that the story was written in third person so that we saw what was happening but didn't get overwhelmed. I could disregard this easily enough though.

Basically, Far From the War surprised me in the best possible way. It was a fulfilling story of war, peace, love, hate, and everything about life and survival. I was thoroughly compelled to keep reading until the satisfying end. The world needs more stories like Far From the War. 4 stars,


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