The Warrior

Fiction - Military
374 Pages
Reviewed on 01/08/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

If you’re looking for a lightweight, cosy read, don’t pick up The Warrior by Phillip Davidson. On the other hand, if you like books that challenge your beliefs and invite you to question life, morality, religion, duty, honour and man’s purpose here on earth, snap up The Warrior. But a couple of provisos before you do that: you must enjoy, or be interested in, or relate to what it is like to serve in the military; you need to have a strong stomach; you need to accept the ramifications of PTSD, and you must be ready to suspend any tendencies to dismiss the supernatural, paranormal, or at least the possibility that there are forces in our universe beyond what we see in our everyday lives. If you can do all that, you will get into The Warrior and not be able to put it down.

The novel is centered around a group of Vietnam vets who went to hell and back over a decade before. They have seen atrocities and have committed atrocities. They’ve all returned to civilian life in different capacities and jobs and suddenly, one of their team, the mysterious Keaton, begins visiting them all at different times and in different places. He is calling on them to follow through on a covenant they made wherein they had called on God to deliver them from what would have been certain death at the hands of the Viet Cong in the jungle. They survived, but now Keaton has come to tell them it’s time to follow through on the promise of the covenant: that if any one of them ever needed their help, they would come together to fulfill that promise. Well, now that time has come: their former leader’s wife, Sonya, is being held captive by the junta in Argentina. The group’s mandate is to band together to free her. It’s a dangerous and mind-blowing job to free David’s wife, but they are, after all, soldiers and duty calls.

As each member fights this last call to duty, Phillip Davidson takes us into the minds, memories and personal battles each faces with what they have been taught, learned and become over their lives. Nightmares haunt David’s sleep and alcohol has become his escape. But he must somehow save his wife. And there is one more thing that is blowing his mind: Keaton. He was at Keaton’s funeral many years prior. How is it that now Keaton is visiting and talking with him and all the others. How is this possible? Did Keaton, in fact, not die? Is this part of a CIA cover up? All these questions David and the others cannot answer will propel the reader through the many pages of The Warrior.

Some readers may find the sequence of The Warrior a bit difficult to follow: there are flashbacks, scene changes and tons of characters. The novel flips back and forth between introspective thinking and action. But Phillip Davidson knows what he is doing and brings it all home properly. It is not a fast read: it's too deep for that. It might be worth the reader’s time to visit the author’s website. There is a book trailer that will prepare you for this engrossing, but mentally challenging read. Definitely not a book for those who don’t like to go too deep. Going deep can be frightening.

Gisela Dixon

The Warrior by Phillip Davidson is an action-packed novel set against the backdrop of war and military fighting. The Warrior starts off dramatically right away by introducing the reader to the kidnapping and capture of an American woman in South America. The story then moves onto the military backgrounds, friendships, and the bond shared by a few ex-military men who have gone through all while serving their time fighting for their country, but are now discharged and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues resulting from their experiences with conflict. The story follows their quest and mission to rescue the American hostage, based on past relationships and agreements between these main protagonists. The story is interspersed with her experience as a captive in a box, and there is plenty of drama, suspense, military intrigue, and action as the story speeds along to its conclusion.

The Warrior by Phillip Davidson is, at times, a grim novel that forces us to confront the harsh realities of war and devastation. But it is also a story of love and hope and the extent that human beings can go to out of love and loyalty to another human being. Although the book tends a little bit toward the long side, the writing is fast-paced and the plot keeps moving along with plenty of drama and action-packed scenes. I also found that the book is very heavily centered around the military, and if someone does not enjoy that genre, then this may not be the right book for them. Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy military plots and action.

Romuald Dzemo

The Warrior by Phillip Davidson is a riveting tale with powerful themes and characters, a story that follows a team of ex-military members on a very important mission to rescue a prisoner. A woman is languishing in an Argentinian prison in deplorable conditions. In fact, she is wearing out with every passing hour, and as the narrator says, “But thinking was all she had. It was the last scrap of her humanity that she could hold on to, the last thing in her life she could control.” Somewhere, someone remembers a vow, and a team that once failed in a mission is about to fulfill the vow, and they have set off an action that could have far-reaching repercussions. Will this team fail a second time in their mission to rescue the woman?

Phillip Davidson is a great storyteller and his writing is impeccably good. The story starts with a powerful description of the condition of the prisoner, a description that is poignantly detailed and that lets the reader into the deep recesses of her troubled mind. The reader also understands that her situation is delicate, if not tragic. The writing, with its beautiful descriptions and intelligent dialogues, allows the reader to get the feel of characters, get caught up in the intense action, and become curious about where the story is leading. The plot is gripping and well constructed and readers will undoubtedly enjoy the compelling and memorable characters. The Warrior is fast-paced and insanely absorbing.

Arya Fomonyuy

A great and dangerous mission is about to be undertaken by a team of ex-military who have failed in a similar mission in the past. A woman’s life is in danger, imprisoned in a heavily guarded Argentinian prison - can the team succeed in freeing her and regaining their honor? Readers are introduced to very interesting and well-rounded characters, with well-developed backgrounds. The Warrior by Phillip Davidson is a military thriller that is designed with strong elements of entertainment. The writing is crisp and it flows with unusual fluidity. From the very first page of the story, the reader is captivated by the descriptions. The author also opens the narrative with a huge problem — the woman in prison. Readers are drawn into her world and her silent but painful musings, and can’t help but wonder why she is there and what will happen to her.

The writing is suspenseful, with short chapters that are created to leave the reader wanting to turn to the next one. The narrative voice is clear and strong. I enjoyed the prose and the way the author makes the shifts in points of view. The author also shows a great skill in understanding military technology. The plot is well paced and there are a lot of unexpected twists that will take readers by surprise. The Warrior is a success on several counts, including the masterful storytelling skills of the author, the great narrative voice, the compelling characters, and the complex plot. Phillip Davidson is one of those authors to watch keenly.