Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Book Review - The Valley by John Renehan

The Valley by John Renehan is about an army Lieutenant traveling deep into the valley to investigate a complaint. Black is a deskbound admin officer that is sent up to the valley to investigate a warning shot that was fired by a platoon in a neighboring village. He doesn’t look forward to the task and feels that it is insulting that he was assigned to it. He feels that it's another disappointment in his Army career. As Black travels to the valley, he isn’t aware that his report can determine the fate of the fragile relationship between the Army and the residents of the valley.

When I picked this book, I picked it solely on the cover without ever reading the book summary. After reading this novel, I think I should be more selective when picking books by the cover. The novel started off a bit slowly but then got confusing. The author included a lot of technical military terms that I wasn’t familiar with. The author didn’t spend any time explaining some of what the terms meant. At times, I was confused about what was going on in the story. I felt like I was missing something and the ending left me a bit confused. The protagonist would work something out in his head but fail to share it with the audience so we could also be in on the new information. Instead we are left to ourselves to try and decipher what the new information could mean. 

The reader barely got any background on the protagonist other than he was desk personnel and then he was made to go into a village that was filled with war and chaos. During that time he went from a pencil pusher to someone who was physically pushed to the limit. Since we barely got any background on him, it was hard to understand and figure out his purpose for being at the base in the valley without it being explained to us. I don't think I would read another book by the author.

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