I want to thank the incredible team behind Craig DiLouie for asking me to read this book. I picked it up on NetGalley whom I also would like to thank for helping reviewers read books. “Our War” is a book that has some very significant relevance in the current climate of the United States.
Let me start with the first impression and one that lingered with me through reading. “Our War” was one of the most emotionally charged books I’ve read, especially after the shooting at the Garlic Festival, El Paso and Dayton. I felt the impact of “Our War” in the same way that I did “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” when I read it earlier this year. “Our War” mirrors and uses current events in a way that I feel future generations are going to remember. I started to read it before the Garlic Festival, but after that event, the book’s imagery made the reading more significant. When El Paso and Dayton happened, the book reminded me that the subject matter therein is timely for a reason.
We have a story about “What If.” What if the US had another Civil War? What would be the reason, what would it look like from a modern perspective, and mostly, what would it do to the people living in the US? Set in recent times and under the premise of current events, “Our War” is relevant, and it’s chilling.
Let me go into the critique portion of the review, and to start with I am going to the category “Story Structure, Foundation and Presentation.” Specifically, there were some grammatical issues I found, such as not starting a paragraph on a dialog sentence and the use of present tense in a past tense sentence. Though I am notoriously guilty of the second issue personally, I realize that the use of the word “now” can be confusing to the way a sentence reads. I did find the dialog sentence issue a tad jarring at times, but it did not break my emersion very much.
Onto the positive things I enjoyed about “Our War,” and to start, I go with my “Lost in Translation” category of scoring. Specifically, I was never lost in the storytelling when it came to what was going on with the plots and sub-plots. The news currently is peppered with stories of gun violence, mass shootings, white supremacist movements, and a host of terrible things. This story follows the logical path of where things are going. The reader is taken down a clear path of the dissolution between the left and right but also the difference between factual news coverage and fake news or propaganda generation in our job.
Under my “Whole Story” category, I want to give high praises for the story having a full plot. The sub-plots are also well done, and they are intense, considering the subject matter. I felt that the main point of making sure children remain, children, even when war and terrible things happen around us, is well placed. I also thought that the brutal nature of what happens when little kids are wrapped in war, is realistic and stinging, but it adds to the depth of the story.
On a personal note, the thing that utterly broke my heart was the character of Hannah. Near the end, Hannah struggles with the difference between surviving in war and living in peace. It was realistic, stark, painful, and raw to read the words that were typed there about a 10-year-old girl who is suffering like most soldiers who come back from Afghanistan. These words are incredibly powerful, as the images evoke such as pain and realism. It was these kinds of details that truly made “Our War” so very powerful, and what makes this book essential.
Overall my feelings on “Our War” I want to be crystal clear so that everyone can understand, it is a good book. “Our War” is a remarkable story that has to get out, and we all need to see. The tale could be our future in the United States, and there isn’t much that is going on to prevent it. Everyone has picked a side it seems, and the natural logic path means that we will have a war, or so that is how this book goes. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
With everything in mind, I’m giving “Our War” a 90/100 which is a 5-star review on Amazon and Goodreads. I again want to thank Craig Louie and his team for allowing me to read this excellent book.