Shadebringer: Book One: The Land of Irgendwo
Grayson W. Hooper
River Grove Books (2022)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (01/2023)
Shadebringer: Book One: The Land of Irgendwo, is a very entertaining first book in this new series which is set during the Vietnam War. During the first part of the book, the reader finds themselves in the real world following the main character through his tour of duty in Vietnam. After his death, the reader is taken to the land of Irgendwo, in another realm, to follow this character through his “next assignment.”
As we begin, the main character, Clyde Robbins, has joined the Army to find a new path for his life, which is not really fabulous back in his hometown. Clyde is sent to Vietnam. Here he finds that war is a true horror, more so than even his life back home, and he is no longer fighting to find a new life but simply fighting to keep his life. Of course, this is not meant to be as we see Clyde, whom we have quickly come to like, lose that life. That is when the story truly begins.
When Clyde awakens, he is not only technically dead but he is in a strange land called Irgendwo and is the Shadebringer spoken of in their legends. He is now meant to save this world, definitely not something he asked for or expected. Clyde is definitely no longer in control of his own path, which is not something easily accepted by this tough, straight-forward, and very confused character. With the help of some new friends, he tries to understand the people of this new city and come to grips with what his huge role in their survival will be. As he learns, Clyde quickly comes to the realization that his new life is going to be just another war and all the hopes of these people rest on the fact that it is one war he must not lose.
Shadebringer is really an exceptional new book filled with very well-written and graphic descriptions of the effect of war in both of the lives this character leads. In many cases, the language in the story is very graphic and will, I am sure, turn off some readers. I would beg you to fight through that and keep going, as the language is only part of the very realistic writing that is put forth in the story. Mr. Hooper has written amazing characters, both in the present and in the afterlife, and they are true and honest depictions. His writing is amazing in its descriptions and the reader will feel as if they are actually there and a part of the battles that are going on. Each character brings something special to the table and a very important part of the story.
I highly recommend this story to young adults and to adults. You will not be disappointed at all. There are many twists and turns and, while the end will leave the reader with many questions, it will also leave you anxiously awaiting the next installment of what will be a fabulous adventure in the land of Irgendwo. 5 stars!!