I would like to thank Netgalley for my ARC of this book for an honest and unbiased opinion.
3* but almost a four. I am wavering on this one a little bit.
The story focuses on a group of six American soldiers in Baghdad. They have gone AWOL in a stolen Humvee to attend the memorial service of their Sergeant Raphael (Rafe) Morgan.
When the Humvee breaks down, they decide to continue their journey on foot. They find that their last-minute plan has not been well thought out and their preparation is lacking.
As the story tells of their journey through a hostile Baghdad, it also tells of their individual histories. Their time together as a group and their relationship with Rafe.
I did enjoy this story to a point, but found at times it was a little bit erratic as it jumped to and from from present to past very quickly. Their personal pasts were good but I found a little to brief, and would have enjoyed knowing more of their individual stories.
The part I had a little trouble with was the initial stealing of the Humvee from a secure Army base. The trick they employed seemed a little too simplistic, but then sometimes the simpler the better. Each to their own opinion. But the lack of training I struggled with the most. I feel that soldiers go through rigorous training, this training would instill an instinct in them, an instinct of being prepared at all times. I would imagine hours of training and drills, also the hostile environment would make it second nature to remember the basic items that could be the difference between life and death. Again this is my personal opinion and i have no military experience.
That being said, I did enjoy the way the relationship between the characters gave the story some depth, and the observations during their journey was insightful. It gives me, as a reader an image of a place where i will probably never go or have any experience of. I will be looking at purchasing other books by this author, as i think the story basics are good and interesting.
Because I got this as an electronic ARC , Ifound that the abbreviations were explained as i read, this meant that i didn’t have to mess around finding a glossary of abbreviation terms, really annoying when i read on a Kindle.
From Fobbit author David Abrams, Brave Deeds is a powerful novel of war, brotherhood, and America. Spanning eight hours, the novel follows a squad of six AWOL soldiers as they attempt to cross war-torn Baghdad on foot to attend the funeral of their leader, Staff Sergeant Rafe Morgan. In an inhospitable landscape, these men recall the most ancient of warriors while portraying a cross-section of twenty-first century America—sometimes strong, sometimes weak, but subject to the same human flaws as all of us.
Drew is reliable in the field, but unfaithful at home. Cheever, overweight and whining, is a friend to no one—least of all, himself. Specialist Olijandro, or O, is distracted by dangerous romantic thoughts of his ex-wife. Fish’s propensity for violence is what drew him to the military and could be a catalyst for the day’s events. Park is the quiet one, but his quick thinking may make him the day’s hero. And platoon commander Dmitri “Arrow” Arogapoulos, is stalwart, yet troubled with questions about his own identity and sexuality. As the six march across Baghdad, their complicated histories, hopes, and fears are told in a chorus of voices that merge into a powerful portrait of the modern war zone and the deepest concerns of us all, military and civilian alike. Moving, thoughtful, funny, and smart, Brave Deeds is a gripping story of combat and of brotherhood, and an important addition to the oeuvre of contemporary war fiction.