Review: What Survived by Jesse Roman R.

Title: What Survived
Author: Jesse Roman R.
Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform April 2013
Genre: Fiction
Labels: World War II, France
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 134
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

What Survived is closer to a novella, yet a novella is considered an "uncomplicated, few conflicts, type story." What Survived is full of conflicts, and is incredibly complicated.

An infantry soldier named Tim, is with his unit in eastern France. The time period is shortly after the D-day invasion at Normandy, which would have been in the late summer 1944. When the story begins a few of the soldiers along with Tim are discussing belief in God. In a matter of a few days, several of the soldiers in Tim's combat unit would be killed.  

My Thoughts:

Positive Points:
  • Author is graphic at realistic battle scenes, including the carnage of buildings, weaponry, and humans.
  • Author gave me a significant look inside a soldier's mind: how they felt, weighed their life, questioning choice of tactics, futility of why they're there, injustice of war, the "buzz" of a combat mission, their bodies reactions after a mission, nightmares, questioning of why am I still alive, and replaying in their minds how their brother's in service died in combat. 
  • Gave me a peek inside a soldier's mind and made me feel an emotional pull to the character's. I was not watching a somber black and white battle scene, but experiencing what the soldier's saw and felt in descriptive color.
Negative Points:
  • I feel that this story could be inside a longer novel. Meaning. Tim could reflect back on his experiences of World War II. During What Survived, Tim, is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, also known during World War II as shell shock. In a lengthier story, Tim could show me through his life, how he's dealt with, or not dealt with, post traumatic stress disorder
  • Gruesome macabre battle scenes are written about. This will not appeal but to a specific reading audience, not a wide audience.
  • The author takes turns at using differing points of view, jumping back and forth. This to me took away from the smoothness of reading. It was distracting.
  • There is no rest in the story, it is one carnage scene after another, with no time or little time to pause. 
  • I would have liked to have a preface explaining a bit about the authors reasons for writing this story. 
Thank you to Jesse Roman R. for my free review copy!
Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
$8.99 for paperback
$3.99 for Nook

Link @ Amazon:
$8.09 for paperback
$3.99 for Kindle