Review: Our War by Craig DiLouie

Rating: ★★★★-

Synopsis

A prescient and gripping novel of a second American civil war, and the children caught in the conflict, forced to fight.

When the president of the United States is impeached, but refuses to leave office, the country erupts into civil war.

10-year-old Hannah Miller, an orphan living in besieged Indianapolis, has joined a citizen’s militia. She had nowhere else to go. And after seeing the firsthand horrors of war, she’s determined to fight with the Free Women militia.

Hannah’s older brother, Alex, is a soldier too. But he’s loyal to the other side. After being separated from Hannah, he finds a home in a group calling themselves The Liberty Tree militia.

When a UNICEF worker and a reporter discover that both sides are using child soldiers, they set out to shine a light on something they thought could never happen in the United States. But it may be too late because even the most gentle children can find that they’re capable of horrific acts.

Review

Thanks to the author and publisher for a finished copy of Our War in exchange for an honest review. Receiving a copy of the book did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

Our War is a heart-breaking and harrowing novel about a bleak alternate reality that we may just find ourselves in in the very near future. Much like Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers and Rob Hart’s The Warehouse, DiLouie continues the 2019 trend of novels we need right now in order to make us more aware of where our country is headed if we don’t band together and fix the chaos and broken systems. Change can happen and there are glimpses of it across the nation, but there are still too many bad decisions being made that outweigh the progress.

It is crazy to think that this is sort of where we are now with our world, and on a smaller scale, nation. That books once thought to be dystopian or pre-apocalyptic fiction would be closer to non-fiction than they were just a few years ago. Not saying that any of these authors have the ability to time travel and show us exact glimpses of our future, but just that imagination and reality are becoming too similar in certain ways. With the gun violence of today, the nation seemingly splitting itself up into the left and right, religion taking a backseat to everyday life, and people becoming offended at every single piece of information that comes their way, it isn’t a coincidence that fiction such as Our War is being written at such a rapid pace. The world is becoming a fairly scary place to live and sometimes, Canada does seem like a welcome permanent vacation.

DiLouie does a fantastic job of immediately grabbing the reader’s attention and holding it throughout, tearing at heartstrings and digging into the nitty-gritty of emotional connection with his characters and the messed up world they find themselves in. Hannah is the shining star in this bleak account of an alternate America and one that I think will resonate even more with parents who have young children. I can’t imagine seeing elementary aged children toting AK-47s or carrying backpacks with enough explosives to level a building, but it is unfortunate that things like this are occurring at an elevated rate in some countries. The fact that our schools are, even now, having to consistently be on alert for gun violence is absolutely ridiculous.

This novel was gut-wrenching and I don’t know if I was truly ready for it. This may hit too close to home for some, but I can definitely recommend it. Hopefully I have prepared you before your own venture as this book hits some major arteries.

4 thoughts on “Review: Our War by Craig DiLouie

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