War Torn by JM Snyder

War Torn by JM Snyder


In a not too distant future, the island of Manhattan has been commandeered by rebels aided by terrorists who have set themselves against the U.S. government. The Brooklyn Bridge, now fallen into disuse, stands as a sort of "no-man’s land" between the island and the military that patrol the Hudson River. When the rebels bomb the Bridge, the nation is plunged into what might become a second Civil War.

Captain Jace Rickert is a grounded pilot whose Army lover, Second Lieutenant Tomas Tait, is sent on a routine reconnaissance mission. When Tait disappears and the military can’t stop the impending war to find one missing soldier, Rickert takes matters into his own hands.



Interestingly enough I haven’t read many of the reviews for Snyder’s work until after I’ve read the book. Not sure why this is but probably because I started reading her work with “Trin” and really, I don’t need to read reviews to buy her books now. Some suggested other titles but I went from “Trin”, to “Scarred” and to “Persistence of Memory”. See a theme? I really like Snyder’s futuristic, angst driven character stories. “War Torn” is a solid and thought provoking story that is undoubtedly a romance. The overwhelming theme is the power of a love you’re willing to do anything for set in a powerful post-apocalyptic, futuristic world. Don’t worry though, you can’t miss the theme – it’s slightly obvious and lacks the subtly and deft handling Snyder is capable of but doesn’t decrease the impact of a great story.

Jace and Tomas are bit of a May/December couple with Jace as the older, more experienced solider yet seeks Tomas’ cocky attitude and reassurance, exposing the younger man’s surprising maturity. As the main thrust of the story is Jace’s journey from the time Tomas leaves to his eventual discovery, there are only a handful of scenes depicting the two men together in present time. Instead, their relationship is seen through Jace’s memories and flashbacks, adding the missing depth of their connection. Tomas changes in Jace’s memory from a shy, awed recruit to strong young man with a sense of responsibility and purpose creating a sense of equality between the two men, despite the difference in age.

Jace, however, is lost, suffering from vertigo after an accident and leaving him floundering professionally. He struggles an a solider who can no longer perform and contribute, as he sees it, and therefore clings to the one constant that remains in his life – Tomas. Jace’s attachment to Tomas is clearly born of his deep love but the overwhelming desperation and despair evidenced hint at more. Unfortunately Tomas is little developed partly due to the context of the story and the writing style, leaving him very much a mystery figure and his character subject to Jace’s perception.

The story is told in first person, present tense which may bother some readers. This style of writing is common to the author’s books and is not always entirely successful. The prose is intense and allows for the reader to empathize with the overwhelming emotions as they hit Jace while following the roller coaster of action and trepidation. Unfortunately, this also narrows the focus of the story and characters to only Jace’s perspective, coloring all emotions and memories with a heavy layer of desperation and repetition. Jace’s character is shown in a very limited context, concentrating the reader’s attention on his overwhelming fear, despair, and need thus creating a very one sided view without much complexity. This works in favor of driving home the theme of a love story and willing to overcome incredible odds for said love, but stops short of a fully developed cast of characters.

Even the secondary characters of Max and Al felt invisible in the face of Jace’s agony and intensity. As both characters served to help Jace, they added no contrasting texture or spark. Nuri, on the other hand, brightened the dark visage and added a much needed refreshing element and contradiction to the story. His brief but excellent addition snapped the attention and focus back to the incredibly detailed futuristic setting as well as blending Jace’s fumbling fear with a sharp, cool edge of survival. Nuri’s help was also essential as Jace manages to fumble his way through the story with more luck than planning and skill. While this added to the chaotic feel of Jace’s emotions, the pace and telling benefited from a cool and practiced, if mercenary element.

Even with the problems I’ve mentioned, I overall enjoyed reading this story. The setting is gritty and real with a level of detail I could envision and almost feel. The writing is good, even if not at the author’s best, and without a doubt this is a thought provoking tale with an equally romantic couple. Tight, solid writing with a realistically drawn setting will have you hooked and unable to put this story down. The tension builds from the first sweet but sad scene and doesn’t let up until the end with a much deserved HEA. I hesitated to even put up this review as I’m not sure what I have to add to the plethora of reviews already in existence for this good story. I had some problems with it, but still was happy I’d read it. So I guess the take away message is if you haven’t read this book – you should.

Get it HERE!

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