by David Litwack
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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.
Along the Watchtower by David Litwack blends fantasy and a modern-day tale filled with hope, overcoming guilt and recovery. As he travels back and forth between Lieutenant Freddie Williams reality and dream world I found myself captivated by both worlds. Three-word review: Captivating, inspirational and enjoyable.
We travel with Freddie as he makes his way from war-torn Iraq to the VA hospital in Jamaica Plain, MA. He is in and out of consciousness as he fights to recover from an IED explosion. He is worried about his men and his surroundings but as he slips into his dreams he becomes Frederick, Prince of Stormwind and faces challenges to protect his kingdom from the monstrous horde. The tale that unfolds was captivating as we traveled along with both Freddie and Frederick as they face some of the toughest challenges, confront their fears and set their goals towards the future.
Lieutenant Freddie is a likable guy and respected by his men. He is suffering survivors’ guilt and wondering if he could have done more. Seriously injured his road to recovery is both physically and emotionally challenging. Watching Freddie deal with his reality and also his dream character “Frederick” was enjoyable, touching and had me cheering, groaning and flipping the pages. Other characters added to the tale and helped flesh out Freddie. Becky, the rehabilitation nurse was wonderful, and I enjoyed watching their relationship grow. Fredrick gains a new perspective and hopes from a sweet gardener named Rebecca.
Litwack did a fantastic job of blending the two worlds together and conveying messages through Freddie’s dream world. Often when reading books with two worlds I find myself craving one over the other, but I enjoyed both equally and didn’t mind being pulled back and forth. The story conveys messages of forgiveness, hope, and love. The pacing was well done slowly building towards a climactic ending in both worlds and a melding of the two. The author does a wonderful job of painting both worlds and the protagonists’ emotions making his story feel real. I found myself vested in Frederick’s story as I searching for my HEA. The tale wrapped up nicely giving us conclusions to both worlds. Along the Watchtower was different and refreshing. It blended a contemporary tale with fantasy and added a dash of romance. It’s a story that will appeal to a large audience from YA to Adult.
Along the Watchtower will appeal to fans of romance, fantasy and inspirational stories.
Great review, Kimba! I’ve seen this book around but hadn’t yet seen any reviews. Having read your review, I think is is very much something I might like, so I’m putting it on my TBR list.
This was such a pleasant surprise and I easily slipped in and consumed it..always a good thing!
Sounds fun. 🙂
Anna from Shout with Emaginette
thanks Anna I enjoyed this one 🙂
This does sound like an interesting combination. Happy you enjoyed it.
thanks Jen, Candace asked me to review it, and I am so glad she did 🙂
This is a new book and author for me and I am certainly intrigued. I am curious about going back and forth in the different worlds and will be checking this more 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us.
thanks Denise, this was well done and easily held my attention, I hope you get a chance to read it!
I actually enjoy the back and forth (reality/dream) types of stories, especially if they are done quite well. I’m glad to see David Litwack handles this aspect wonderfully. Freddie sounds like a well-developed character and I’ll admit I am very curious to see how he gets his HEA. I love that its an inspirational story, and that there is a prospect of me learning something from it. I am definitely looking forward to this! I’m glad you enjoyed this! Great review, Kim! 😀
Literary Love Affair
thanks Maida, I love books that have character growth and hope you get a chance to read this 🙂
What an interesting mix of fantasy and modern reality. Glad you enjoyed it, I love when a book surprises me in a positive way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I haven’t read any Litwalk novels before but looks like I need to give him a try.
thanks Tanya, this was a good read, and I hope you get to try it 🙂
Interesting mix of worlds
I thought so too, but he is a gamer and so it made sense
Wow this sounds like such a fascinating premise, and I’m sure I’ll find it very emotional too. I’d never heard of this before. I’m glad to hear you think it would appeal to such a wide audience. I love reading fantasy, but combining that with a soldier’s experiences and survival guilt just sounds like such a wonderful story. Lovely review! 🙂
I was pleasantly surprised and as I said both threads held my interest.
Melissa (Books and Things)
Oh I like the sound of this one. I also like the worlds it has. I’m very curious as to how the worlds mesh. Oh I really need to check this book out.
thanks Melissa and I hope you do…Happy Friday *passes you a fancy summer drink with the cutest little umbrella*
I’m not normally interested in books of this genre, but look at that cover!
ya know I didn’t like it at first, but its grown on me and makes sense with the story, thanks Sarah 🙂
Kim, what a great book and wonderful review. And what a timely read too with all our boys that come home injured.
It’s going on my list
thanks Debbie this is a quick easy read with likable characters.
Oh gosh I think parts of this one would tear my heart out! I have a HUGE soft spot for books about soldiers. Dang it, I am going to have to keep this one in mind after that fantastic review!
Have a fabulous weekend Kim!!
I hope you try it ..I exactly the same but this was light and full of growth.
Fantasy with modern day and the grief and recovery sounds great to me
Agreed Brandi, of course I am a sucker for military men 🙂
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
I’m glad to hear that this one wrapped up both stories neatly…I’m always afraid with plots like these that one will sort of be left hanging
I agree and sometimes you like one world and not the other, but this was well balanced.
This honestly doesn’t sound like the book for me, Kim, because I’m iffy about books with multiple worlds because I get way too confused. However, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this one.
An author who can teach you a lesson through his writing is one who should be appreciated and admired.
Great review, Kim!
this was a light fantasy with very few characters so it’s easy to slip into each reality.
When I first read the blurb for this, I was a little worried that it wasn’t for me. Your review has certainly changed my mind, I think I would enjoy this. Great review.
thanks Jenea..happy Friday 🙂
This one sounds interesting. I’ve read one book by Mr. Litwack and I ended up enjoying it more than I expected to. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!
He allows the reader to slip into the story and the characters were likable. thanks Megan
I have read one book were we travel from past to present and I was really disappointed, but this one sounds really good. I haven’t heard of it before but when you say captivating and inspirational then it must be great. Great review 🙂
thanks Tanja, I quite enjoyed it 🙂
Yay!!!!! I have to admit, I was sitting on the edge of my seat when I saw you posted your review and as I waited for the page to load. Mr. Litwack is a fantastic author and doesn’t receive as much recognition as I believe he deserves so every positive review makes me very happy!
So, so glad you enjoyed this! Thanks so much for giving it a chance!
thanks Candace I was nervous going in but slipped right into the world Litwack created.