September 10, 2011

Far From the War by Jeffrey David Payne

Publisher: Roche Harbor Books
Publish Date: July 24, 2011
Source: Publisher (for honest review)
Economic ruin and partisan rancor have pushed America to the brink of a new civil war. Esther is caught in the middle, serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives when rogue politicians and military leaders stage a modern day coup d'etat. When the coup turns violent, she abandons Washington D.C. for home. She must learn to survive on her own as transportation and financial networks fail, as the war disrupts food and water supplies. The result is a cautionary tale about political extremism and the true cost of war.

This took quite a while to catch my attention. All the parts before the actual war kinda bored me. Instead of feeling like a setup for the story, it just felt like we were watching Esther's fairly mundane day-to-day life and then BAM there's a big fat war going on. The flow definitely wasn't there for me.

I loved the concept of the story though I wasn't sure about the political aspects. The first third of the book is pretty full of political jargon fulfilling my fears and leaving me pretty lost, but after that it petered out for the most part. Another thing that I felt alienated the reader a bit was all the references. Everything from movies to people most of which I'd never heard of. The civil war concept was really good though. It was a bit hard for me to follow along with which side was which but it didn't matter all that much since the devastation affected everyone.

As the story went on it drew me in a bit more but I still wasn't able to quite feel it with the characters. I didn't feel the emotional connection I usually get although I did like Esther's personality. I liked how she was pretty no nonsense and had that edge of sarcasm about her even if she herself seemed to be a little emotionally detached at times. I was a little confused at times as to why Esther kept stopping and waiting around only for the war to catch up again, but it's believable when trying to wrap your head around a war in your own country.

Final Thoughts: I'm not sure that I would recommend this to just anyone, but if you can handle politics and like the dystopian side of war it could definitely be worth the read. It has a slow start, but really picks up the pace all at once.

Pages: 366
Series: Far From the War #1
Rating: 3 stars

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