Stevecrandell's Reviews > Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
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Sep 10, 10

bookshelves: grades-9-and-up, war-stories
Read in September, 2010

There must be a required list for Vietnam War drama – the officer who demands more enemy kills, racial tension, the tropical heat, a village massacre, napalm, an ambush in the paddy fields. All that’s here, but it doesn’t feel contrived.

The characters fit familiar war story roles, but once again it’s not a problem. Peewee Gates is my favorite, an undersized tough guy who invites both trouble and honest fears.

There’s a lot of swearing, but it suits the topic, especially in the heat of battle.

It takes a while for that heat to build, but once the pace picks up it stays frantic. Myers does well to explain the mechanics of warfare, without bogging down in technical detail. I wish, however, that I could build a better picture of the battle scenes. The soldiers seem to know what they’re doing, as much as anyone can. But there’s too much happening at once to be sure of what I’m reading. Maybe the Kindle version could include dioramas.
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