Day of War

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Title: Day of War
Author: Cliff Graham
Publisher: Zondervan
Series: Lion of War Series
Number: 1 of 5
Pages: 364
Released: May 28, 2011

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After Amalekites destroyed his family forever, Benaiah is look for a place to forget and hopes he found it among David’s army, a ragtag group of men fighting to save Israel. Well, some of them are. Others are fighting just for the promise of captured wealth.
As Saul gets more and more out of his mind, the hope of Israel is waning, including that of his army, including his ever loyal son Jonathan. Benaiah and the rest of the army have to call upon every skill in their arsenal and even some that aren’t and win the throne for their leader, if they don’t kill each other first.
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When I first picked this book I was drawn by the cover. As I do most of the time, I chose the book solely for the incredible cover. Then I found out that this whole series was being turned into a movie and my curiosity was piqued. This had to be a good book or else it wouldn’t be considered for a movie. The question is is it a good book to me?
The answer: Yes! Cliff Graham crafts a fiction version of David and his army that seems so real it’s like it’s playing a movie in your mind. He makes each scene and character so believable you wonder how close to the truth he really was. The strongest and most realistic scenes in the book is the fighting scenes, which take up about eighty percent of the book.
Naturally, with the majority of the book being about war, the book can get a little gory. However, the author warns of this before the book begins, giving you time to brace yourself and prepare for the gore. Keeping that in mind, the amount of graphic scenes was quite a bit for a Christian novel but keeping in mind the subject and storyline, I felt that the descriptive carnage only added to the grittiness of the story.
One tip if you intend to read this story, don’t start it at night. Not because it’s scary, but because it’s suspenseful. It starts with a lion hunt that last four or five chapters and if you can only read one chapter wait until you can read more or else it’ll be all you’ll be thinking about until you can read more of it.
The story never really lags due to the intense fighting scenes that keep you hooked. The author brings a new look on war in the beginning of the iron age and the struggles that the Hebrews had with trying to figure out how to craft iron into weapons.
There was one thing that I would’ve liked a little more depth into, though, and that would be the lives of the family and women, that may just be because of the fact that I’m a woman, but it is something that I kind of missed at the end of the story. However, with how intense this story is, I’m not completely sold on the fact that it would fit into the story well.
This book is the first this author has written and I have to say that I didn’t even realize it until after I was finished reading the book. It was just that good. So now I’m left asking myself if this is his debut and it’s this good how good are his books two years from now going to be? I can only hope and pray that his writing improves and not deteriorates with time.
I definitely will be reading more from Cliff Graham and am excited for the next four in the Lion of War series as well as the movies. This book has made me a Cliff Graham fan and I can’t wait for more from him.
A well written and thought out story that was extremely gritty and realistic. It’s perfect for men, and women who enjoy reading war stories. I give this book a five out of five.

I was given this book in exchange for this review by NteGalley and Zondervan. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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