Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Unexpected Applause: War Angel

Children seldom get a good idea of the lives the adults in their lives lead before they came into them. I'm sure this is true of my own kids even though I do try to tell them stories of my youth. Those snapshot events rarely reveal what a person was really like. And, of course, kids often don't care... not until much later, often not until  it's too late to find out.

That's the basis of "War Angel" by Rusty Carl, a grandchild discovering the secret past of his grandmother.
Not that it was necessarily a secret, he had just never been curious enough to find out about it until she was about to die.

It's a good story, although I'd say it opens more questions than it answers. For instance, Engel has always been his grandmother's favorite, and there is an implication in the story that there's a reason for this, but it's never explained. There is a possible reason within the story, but there's not enough information for it to be more than guesswork which is a bit unsatisfying. For me, at any rate.

The other main drawback for me is that it's too short. There's so much more there that's kind of hinted at and, then, passed by. But it is a good story; it just could have used some expansion.

However, if you're looking for a quick read that will immerse quickly, this may be one to look at. It does grab the reader quickly with the immediate questions it raises.

I'm skipping the technicals this time as I have a copy that I know has transcription errors. Even with these, though, it was a gripping story, meaning they didn't distract me from what I was reading. Most of these, if not all, should be fixed at this point, so it should be even better for anyone else.

I'd say this one is a strong B. Definitely above average. Being able to read it in one sitting doesn't hurt, either, even if I would have preferred something longer.


  1. I downloaded this at the beginning of the month. I hope to read it before too much longer but I am waaaaay behind with all that.

  2. I sat down and read it at one shot in between longer books. I can see where more story could unfold and more explained. But Rusty does have a talent of pulling one into the story. He excels at storytelling. I could see the ending coming, but at that point, had it ended any other way, I would've been deeply disappointed. Excellent story!

  3. Now I didn't think it needed expansion I thought it was great just as it was.

    Its very true, I wish I had recorded more of what my parents knew or did, too late now. Friend showed us a family book with all kinds of fabulous information which he had collected about his family. Lot of work.

  4. I think it definitely could have been longer, but I enjoyed it as is. If not for the editing problems I would have given it an A.

  5. I need to read this book. I have two I'm getting through right now. The first is Breakthrough by Stephen Tremp. In a line, it's good but the pacing is fast and furious. I feel a little breathless at times. And then there's a fantasy I need to read for another blogger. But right after that I'm free to pick up Rusty's. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. M.J.: On the plus side, it's pretty short, so it shouldn't take all that long to read.

    Alex: I had to read it in two sitting, because I always get interrupted.

    Jo: I'm gonna have to think of a good way to do that for my kids.

    PT: Yeah, I couldn't really respond to those, because I know he fixed a lot of them after I downloaded it.

    Michael: Well, Rusty's is short. It shouldn't take more than an hour to read at the most.

  7. I love Rusty's stories. I've read a few, and enjoy the story content. I have many of the same comments you added here. The Dude knows how to tell a story though.


  8. This does sound interesting. And I think the idea of your parents' and grandparents' lives before you is definitely strange territory. I never heard those stories when I was a kid, but now that I'm older I find I tend to get them if I solicit them :)

  9. Donna: Yeah, he's better than he thinks he is.

    Callie: I had to do this project during high school on family history, but I wasn't really able to get the stuff I wanted to hear about.

  10. I've been out of the loop for a few days, or maybe a week, if you hadn't mentioned it elsewhere I might have missed this. I appreciate the review.

  11. Rusty: Well, that's why I let you know! :)