I haven’t read a good military novel in a long time, but I used to enjoy a lot of rock and roll recon fiction set in WWII and Vietnam back in my twenties. Objects of Wrath by Sean T Smith takes me back. – in a good way!
In Objects of Wrath, Smith combines good military storytelling with apocalyptic fiction. I’ll say right off the bat that he avoids the typical zombie and/or alien scenarios. In fact, one of his characters makes a point of saying that they will not tolerate zombies. Instead, he gives us the most likely end of the world scenario available to us: man wipes out man. There’s a little bit of everything in here: nukes, biological warfare, cannibals, slavers, psychotic despots, and people who are generally desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
All of this provides the background for a truly engrossing coming of age story about a boy who must discover what it means to be a light against the darkness in post-apocalyptic America. Smith gives us a fully fleshed protagonist with deep flaws and character traits we can empathize with. Will Fox’s journey to manhood includes a spiritual journey filled with fear, faith, doubt, rage, loss and love, as he struggles to make sense of a world of evil and a faithful and good God. The other characters are also well-painted. You feel a genuinely sense of camaraderie with Fox’s friends, family and fellow soldiers. The family dynamic is particularly compelling. The faith and spirituality of the book is grounded and integral to the story.
There is a fair amount of profanity and innuendo in the novel, though not nearly as much as one typically reads in a military novel. Mostly pulpit cussing [the sort of words your minister can say from the pulpit but are otherwise deemed inappropriate] and S-bombs. The novel also deals frankly with the horrors of war, sex trafficking and the evils men are capable of when unrestricted by the dispensation of government. It never deals with any of these things, including battlefield violence, in an overly or gratuitously graphic way.
My only complaint is how abruptly the book ends. It kind of slaps you in the face when you’re engrossed in a book like that. All in all, it’s an excellently written and plotted book, giving careful attention a realistic end of the world scenario while dealing with issues such as God’s goodness in the face of man’s depravity. I heartily recommend this to anyone who enjoys military or apocalyptic fiction but is a bit tired of zombies.
I received an advance reader copy of Objects of Wrath for a fair and honest review, but the book is available now for the rest of you. You can find out more about Objects of Wrath at http://seantsmithauthor.wordpress.com/objects-of-wrath/
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”