Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
Publication Date: June 3, 2013
Source: ARC from Author
Summary (from the Author): 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
The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.
There Comes a Prophet was the first novel in this new stage of life. His second, Along the Watchtower, will be published in June 2013.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.
Along the Watchtower is a gripping story of a man who comes face-to-face with death in Iraq, which causes him to travel in and out of parallel worlds through his consciousness. In our world, he is Lieutenant Frederick Williams. In a world that he escapes to during his recovery from an IED explosion, he is Prince Frederick of Stormwind. I say these are parallel because the happenings within each world coincide with the other, and we are taken through a journey of Frederick's recovery of different kinds.
Frederick is a man of many tragic circumstances. Through life and the war, he has lost his parents, brother, and comrades. Throughout Along the Watchtower, we go alongside him as he attends to the grueling task of overcoming (and realizing) his past and current guilt, shame, and mourning. This is a fantastic painting of a soldier's lament, the heart wrenching ability to overcome many trials not by any means of a weapon, but by means of discovering what lies within himself. We watch him grow and heal throughout the story as he realizes what he is truly responsible for, and what belongs simply to fate.
In the parallel world, Prince Frederick also has to work his way to 'King' status. When we first discover Stormwind, we received word that the King had died. This made Prince Frederick next in line to the throne, however, he must pass several tasks first.
Frederick has to overcome several trials in both worlds, whether physically or emotionally, before moving on with his life. In the real world especially, he has to heal before processing and accepting the loss off his fellow soldiers.
I thought this book was very well done. It grabs the reader by the heart on the first page and doesn't release it until well after you've finished the last one. Frederick may be fictional in this story, but there are many realities hidden within him. I'm sure many of us know them personally through ourselves or our loved ones. Litwack did a beautiful job painting a story for us of life, loss, and mostly, hope.
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