This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
Render by W. Joseph O’Connell is a gritty, straight-to-the-point novel about combat during the Surge in Baghdad and its aftermath. Joe Cuero, age 36, a Hispanic from Texas, is deployed in a tank unit of the Third Infantry Division and finds himself facing the unspeakable horrors of searching for and defusing IEDs in city streets where it’s impossible to discern friend from foe. Then there’s the unrelenting heat and the interminable boredom. The only thing these men have is each other, and as the author moves the narrative along, we get to know not only Joe but his platoon mates. Among them are Briggs, who gets drunk to cry, Fisher from the warring streets of North Philly, Badger, a tough ex-cop, and Lt. Redd, who loves birds.
Because the streets are so narrow, tanks are seldom used, and when they are, their weapons are too powerful to be utilized effectively. The soldiers man the more maneuverable Humvees, or simply patrol on foot. It all takes a psychological toll, and the author examines that price in the last third of the novel, tracing the sad aftermath of Joe and two of his closest mates in their lives back home. It’s not pretty amid messed-up relationships, careers, alcohol, drugs, rehab, and the daily grind. Though there are spots of ironic humor, this novel shows us the reality of combat. At the end of Render, W. Joseph O’Connell leaves us with heart-rending empathy and deep respect for the lower echelons of U.S. military personnel, who, despite the dangers of their jobs, dedicate themselves, at great personal cost, to protecting their country.