Joey Sullivan not only brought home a debilitating case of PTSD from Iraq, he also brought home something else. The ability to converse with the spirits of dying veterans. They haunt his dreams and will not leave him alone until he agrees to grant them favors that they can’t do for themselves.
What seemed like a very promising premise turned into a sometimes painful and tedious ordeal. Hirsch knows his stuff. There’s no doubt. He’s a veteran himself and it comes out in his story. Sometimes it comes out too much. In the beginning, the language and lingo was authentic and refreshing. It soon transformed from being refreshing to feeling like you were reading an army field manual. He did the same thing when he had Joey describe his life as a nurse. Using extensive medical terminology can enhance a story. When you use it so much with very little explanation for the lay-person that doesn’t know what all of the terminology means, it comes across as you’re not in touch with your audience and you’re simply showing off how much you know. It’s really too bad. Hirsch showed flashes of some good writing ability. He had some decent characters in there, but Veteran’s Affairs had way too little happening and too many long stretches where it felt like you were reading either an Army field manual or a medical Tabers dictionary.
2 1/2 Freeloading Spirits out of 5
This ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
You can also follow my reviews at the following links: