1 out of 4 stars
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Nick Blue has horrible flashbacks from his time in the Vietnam war. He's only recently been released from the mental health ward of a VA hospital. He now has to have monthly meetings with his psychiatrist. His flashbacks are getting worse, though, and he's worried that they are going to put him right back in the ward that he detested. On the morning of his appointment, he runs into some trouble. There's a group of men with some major weaponry shooting people in his psychiatrist's office.
Before he knows it, his mind has him right in the middle of the Vietnam War again. He quickly kills the men, steals the briefcase they were after and flees. He must get this intelligence to his superiors before the enemy catches him. But the one who sent these men isn't going to let him get away with the briefcase that easily. What is in this briefcase that's so important and what has Nick gotten himself into?
The Rattle of War was listed on OnlineBookClub.org as a science fiction/fantasy, but on Amazon it's classified as Action/Adventure. For my part, I'd go with the later classification. While there is a science fiction twist (that I won't reveal as I don't want to give anything away), the majority of the book is about the gentleman that are after Nick Blue because he has their briefcase.
There are a good many action scenes which normally would create a sense of anticipation. However, the writing style of the author includes more telling than showing. This, sadly, makes these scenes lose their effectiveness. I even found my eyes hurrying down the pages to get past these scenes, so much so that I had to go back and reread several of them. This was really a shame as these were the highlight of the book.
As for the characters, I just never got a real sense of who they were; I found myself lacking empathy for them. It was to the point that I didn't care what happened to them. Live or die, it was all the same to me.
Unfortunately, the ending did nothing to improve the story. It seemed that the author was in such a hurry to get to his twist that he rushed through wrapping up what had actually been the crux of the story. Near the end, there were major chunks of time missing that were later filled in by the author, once again, telling the reader what had happened. And even in that telling, I was still left confused about some of the characters and what exactly happened to them.
To top it all off, I doubt that this has even had a proofreader look at it, much less an editor. Several of the characters' names changed at one point or another in the book (which if you've read any of my reviews, you know is my absolute pet peeve.) And, along with the normal grammatical errors, some of the sentences just plain didn't make sense. For example: "How had the gotten ground got so hot ground?" Granted, not every sentence was that bad - or I wouldn't have made it through the novel. But it happened often enough to be annoying.
Overall, there were too many issues for me to rate The Rattle of War any higher than 1 out of 4 stars. I really can't recommend this book to anyone until it is at least proofread to rid it of the enormous amount of errors. I do believe that the author has a good idea for the plot of a story, but it needs to be rewritten to make the story more cohesive and interesting.
The Rattle of
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