Author: David Massey
Publisher: Chicken House
Release date: August 2nd 2012
Source: For review from publisherRating: 3 stars
Afghanistan. In the heat and dust, young British army medic Elinor Nielson watches an Afghan girl walk into a hail of bullets. But when she runs to help, Ellie finds her gone. Who is she? And what's happened to her? What Ellie discovers makes her question everything she believes in, even her feelings for the American lieutenant who takes her side.
I must admit I wasn't entirely sure I'd enjoy this. It was actually a surprise from Chicken House so I didn't request it. I usually shy away from books about war since I find them quite grim and deadly, and the topic just makes me really queasy.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by Torn. It did have quite a grim tone throughout, with some lighter parts here and there. I must applaud David Massey for recreating a very vivid picture of life in a war zone. What I liked most about this book was the description and the image of war Massey presents us with. Everything was so vivid and graphic that I could picture everything in my head.
We meet Elinor 'Ellie' Nielson on her first day as a war medic in Afghanistan and we're thrown into the action and turmoil alongside her and the rest of the patrol members. I didn't warm to Ellie instantly but I quickly came to admire her for her fearlessness. She has a great personality and is very kind-hearted, putting others before herself.
The book gets off to a fairly slow start and I was a little confused as to what the story was building up to. The synopsis doesn't tell you much and I was left wondering if anything exciting was going to happen. The plot did have potential but I don't think it was exploited as well as it could have been. The build-up to the climax was a little flimsy so when the 'truth' was finally revealed, I reacted pretty neutrally. Unfortunately, only the last third picked up the pace but the action and combat was definitely thrilling.
There was a subtle romance in the book between Ellie and the American lieutenant, Ben Jackson. However, I wasn't convinced by their chemistry. I know it would have been inappropriate for them to strike up a deeper romance but I would have liked it to appear earlier in the book.
Overall, Torn creates a very realistic picture of life in war and it was interesting to read about the lives - and the danger they are put in - of soldiers. However, the plot was a little flimsy in places and some of the characters were difficult to connect with. If you're someone who likes war stories, you may find you will probably enjoy this more than I did.
|3 teacups for Torn|
*Thanks to Chicken House for the (surprise ) review copy!*