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.