3 out of 4 stars
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When a man has to go to war, death becomes more than just a fact of life. It becomes his constant companion, an unfortunate and persistent reminder of the mortality of his enemy, his brothers-in-arms, and, most of all, himself.
U.S. combat medic Steven Ronson knows this better than anyone. From the very start of David J. Costello’s The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1957), we find that the 21 year-old soldier is more than used to being surrounded by the dead and the dying. However, what he is most definitely not used to is the level of pain and destruction the German army has been forcing upon those trapped within internment camps like the one outside Dachau. While helping his fellow soldiers liberate the camp shortly before the end of World War II, Steven discovers one of the results of the Nazis’ fixation on human experimentation: an immortality formula designed for Hitler himself. When Steven begins consuming the formula, he very quickly gains supernatural abilities, some of which enable him to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. In the process, the ex-combat medic gains the attention of a disgraced missionary who happens to be friends with the man created the formula in the first place, a Buddhist monk who goes by the name of Chow Li. After a series of disturbing visions caused by his use of his new abilities, Steven becomes aware of an even larger threat… one that only he might have the ability to combat.
There were a myriad of things that I absolutely loved about this book. Not only was the novel historically accurate in terms of actual events, it was also extraordinarily well done in nearly every other aspect. For instance, the plot itself is extremely interesting and so engaging that I couldn’t help but read most of the book in one sitting. Furthermore, the author’s prose is consistently unique, eloquent, and beautiful. The narration flows smoothly from narration to dialogue and back again. Every few pages, there’s a new quotable quote, often delivered by one of the author’s many well-written and dynamic characters. The descriptions throughout the novel are rendered in vivid, gripping detail. In other words, The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1957) consists almost entirely of strengths.
I had trouble finding anything that I did not like about this novel. In fact, the only issues that I was able to find had little to do with the actual content of the book, but, rather, the style of it. For example, I felt that the chapters were way longer than they needed to be. Had the content of the book not been so engaging, I would have very quickly lost interest in what was going on. If the author were to divide the book into more than 11 chapters, it would be far more easily digestible. Furthermore, the spacing of the entire book was rather inconsistent. Instead of putting a space between the different scenes within a chapter, the only "extra" spaces that I could find were placed randomly (and arbitrarily) within sections of dialogue. If the author were to better utilize paragraph spacing, that would also go a long way toward making this book more accessible.
Aside from these minor issues, the only problem I had with this novel was the amount of errors within it. For the most part, these errors were a result of missing commas or slight misspellings. However, luckily for readers, these issues are way more frustrating than they are distracting, and they don’t really detract from the book in any way.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading. In particular, I would recommend this story to readers who enjoy historical fiction with paranormal elements or elements of fantasy. The only people I would not recommend this book to are those who are triggered by mentions of blood, gore, death, war, and/or suicide. I also would not recommend this novel to younger readers, since this book does include a few sexual situations.
I decided to rate David J. Costello’s The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1957) 3 out of 4 stars. Although I felt that the content of this book is deserving of an “excellent” rating, there were a few too many issues with organization and punctuation for me to rate it any higher than a 3.
The Diary Of An Immortal (1945-1959)
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