Note: I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review. You can check out both the novel and other reviews here.
The Remnants, for me, at least, was an incredibly interesting read. I found my opinion of it constantly changing, from immersive to dull, from unlikable to a story I truly felt I was saying goodbye to. It’s not often to read a story that evokes such thoughts within pages of each other.
First and foremost, I want to be very clear about something. This book is described as a romance, but I want everyone who plans on reading this tale to know that it is not what you might expect. In fact, I found the description of the novel incredibly misleading. So let me set the record straight.
Danny is a young man who has a habit of getting into trouble. Rose, like her mother, is a housemaid, and like Danny she longs for a life greater than the ones they have been given. Young and in love, they feel they have their whole lives ahead of them. That is, until Danny is forced into the war. A tale that begins as a joyful and promising love story is quick to show readers the truth of war, and just how deeply it affects all. Immerse yourself in a story of happiness, heartbreak, hope and despair as Dan and Rose must look inwards and find the strength to carry on against all odds, and accept the change the horrors of war bring. And remember, we do not choose love. It chooses us.
At the beginning of the novel, I very much felt full of hope. This seemed to be a happy love story, and I liked both Rose and Danny. However, as the novel went on, while I grew to love Rosie even more, sympathizing with her and her struggle, I started to resent Danny. The war changed his character drastically, and while a part of me wished he would have remained the same, or least similar to the boy we first met, I think his change was a necessary one. With it, the author captured the effects of war perfectly. With each page, we saw more and more the essence of the dark time, and the sense of foreboding was always near. We knew that in the end, even if it was a happy end, things would not be the same.
The story really pulls you in right from the start. You feel as if you are hearing the story from someone who know and admire. You feel an attachment to not just the characters, but to the tale itself from the beginning, and that’s a rare and difficult feat. Osborn writes from a place on knowledge, love, and despair, and it shines through his writing.
The novel had one flaw, however, that unfortunately drastically affects my rating. I simply can’t overlook it, and that is the sheer lack of editing. The amount of grammatical errors I found is atrocious. From missing periods and commas, to countless missing/misused quotation marks. I mention this because many times I had to re-read paragraphs because the lack of such things made the story difficult to follow. Hiring a professional editor or taking more time to look over his work, The Remnants would have been a far better novel.
My only other criticism is that I found the story, much like most war tales, too dark. I would have liked to see a few lighter moments, more glimmers of hope. While the author succeeded in making the readers feel as hopeless and desperate as the characters, it was at times too overwhelming. As such, I would rate The Remnants 3/5 stars. If people can overlook the appalling grammar, I would recommend it to most of my fellow bookworms. The story is beautifully crafted and executed. If only I could say the same for the editing.
As always, thanks fore reading! And be sure to check out other reviews along with the novel itself over at Online Book Club, here!