Sunday, September 8
Book Review: The Soldier's Song
Author: Alan Monaghan
Pages: EBook 203
Summary: Dublin, 1914. As Ireland stands on the brink of political crisis, Europe plunges headlong into war. Among the thousands of Irishmen who volunteer to fight for the British Army is Stephen Ryan, a gifted young maths scholar whose working class background has marked him out as a misfit among his wealthy fellow students. Sent to fight in Turkey, he looks forward to the great adventure, unaware of the growing unrest back home in Ireland. His romantic notions of war are soon shattered and he is forced to wonder where his loyalties lie, on his return to a Dublin poised for rebellion in 1916 and a brother fighting for the rebels. Everything has changed utterly, and in a world gone mad his only hope is his growing friendship with the brilliant and enigmatic Lillian Bryce. "The Soldier's Song" is a poignant and deeply moving novel, a tribute to the durability of the human soul.
My Rating: 3/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I didn't like this book much at all, it wasn't a very good reading experience for me, there were very few qualities in the book that kept me wanting to read the book.
One of the biggest issues I had, and I'm not sure if it was a problem of the EBook formatting or if that was the way the author intended it, was the changing of scenes, time and time. There was no transition, no warning, no breaks. One paragraph would be a scene discussing the character who has just joined up to the army, the next paragraph he is almost finished his training. It became very frustrating and I had to re-read pieces of the book over again just to make sure I wasn't missing anything crucial. It was very jumbled and disconnected way to tell a story. The quality of it was fairly good, but I think so much of it was lost because of how it was formatted.
I also felt the entire book lacked emotion, strong characterization and kept up in a monotone voice throughout the book. The characters were static, throughout the book, along with the most plot. For a book set during the first World War and political crisis in Ireland pretty much nothing happens. Even the scenes depicting battles felt like someone had just told me in passing that all this horrific stuff happened. Near the end, there was some pieces about how Stephen has been affected by the war, but by that point it was to late - nothing up to that point led me to care about him as a character, so trying to make him more realistic in the last few pages was too late.
Overall, not a good book for me, I'll read the next book in the series, as I already own it, but I doubt I'll continue with the third
Would I recommend it to read: I don't know if I would there was too much I didn't like about the book to recommend it. What to read next: The Soldier's Return and The Soldier's Farewell
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, EBook Challenge, Ireland Reading Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge