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Along the Watchtower

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  70 reviews
The war in Iraq ended for Freddie when an IED explosion left his mind and body shattered. Once a skilled gamer as well as a capable soldier, he's now a broken warrior, emerging from a medically induced coma to discover he's inhabiting two separate realities.

The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse—and slow rehabilitation through the tender care of

Kindle Edition, 254 pages
Published June 25th 2018 by Evolved Publishing LLC (first published June 2nd 2013)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An explosive, contemporary military fantasy that’s profoundly powerful and evocative

Having only ever delved into the genre of ‘military fantasy’ with authors such as Chris Evans (The Iron Elves), I was not sure how I would feel about a thoroughly modern story. This classy, contemporary read captures the harsh realities of war and the scars that they leave both physical and emotional. It is a deeply emotive read containing much truth-drawing frankness and heartrending sincerity that cannot fail t
Arlene Kay
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A SOLDIER’S STORY —A review of Along the Watchtower by David Litwack

War exacts a terrible physical and psychological toll on those who serve. Throughout history soldiers have devised coping mechanisms to escape their demons and save their sanity. In his sensitive new novel Along The Watchtower, author David Litwack explores these themes with the added twist of game theory, a refuge for many whose minds find solace in fantasy.

As our protagonist Freddy navigates the two worlds, he learns to he
Book Review originally published here:

Some time ago, I read and reviewed There Comes a Prophet, the debut novel of David Litwack. I loved that book, so I was looking forward to getting started on his latest novel, Along The Watchtower.

The first pages introduce us to Lieutenant Freddie Williams, who is stationed in Iraq during the war. An IED explosion ends the war for him, destroying his body and mind. He’s sent back home, where he’s being kept in a medic
The aftermath of war can be devastating for a returning hero. For Lieutenant Freddie Williams, an explosion destroyed part of his body and shattered his mind. His world split in two, the reality of his pain-filled world and the fantastical world he goes to in his dreams. Once a proficient gamer, his dreams take him into a world where he is trying to be a fierce warrior, Frederick, the Prince of Stormwind, trying to save his kingdom from the Horde. As the lines between his waking reality and his ...more
C.p. Bialois
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lieutenant Frederick Williams finds himself in a military hospital following an IED attack in Iraq. Before he can make sense of what’s going on around him, he’s placed into a medically induced coma.
He is then a Prince preparing for a series of trials that each generation of kings must undergo to ensure the safety of their people.

As he alternates between the waking and, what is assumed to be, his dream world, Frederick becomes confused as to who he truly is as he searches for the answers to hims
Devorah Fox
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was prepared to like this book when I first spotted the Bob Dylan lyric on the flyleaf. I’ve always found the images in Dylan’s “Along the Watchtower” to be evocative and was curious to see where David Litwack took that inspiration.

I was captivated, and not just because “Along the Watchtower” deals with themes similar to the ones King Bewilliam struggles with in the high fantasy series that I’ve been writing. Litwack’s Lieutenant Freddie Williams made a believable hero, pitiable but not pitif
I was just a little disappointed in this book. From the blub I was expecting (and really hoping for) something MUCH heftier, more intense and certainly more angst-ridden. Something more along the lines of (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting and very emotional read for sure. Allot of heart went into the writing of Along the Watchtower a story about a soldier who has to decide between truth or fantasy.
There’s some language to watch out for but otherwise a very good book.

First Lieutenant Frederick Williams aka Freddie finds himself in the fight for his mind after his unit was blown up by a roadside bomb. Not only does he have to fight to heal physically but mentally as well he finds himself wanting to stay in his fa
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Along the Watchtower. It's a great story to illustrate the struggles that soldiers who are injured in combat face and the many facets of healing that need to occur - physical, mental, emotional, etc. I especially enjoyed the dual story - the real world, the events happening in the hospital, as well as Freddie's fantasy dream world as a prince. It seemed as if during his sleeping hours, he had to work out particular thoughts, beliefs and emotions through the actions in the dream ...more
Sharon Nuss
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW. This novel has very strong characters and a VERY strong story line. It takes the reader between now and fantasy within minutes. I would really recommend readers to read this book as the two characters are intricately inter wound and you as the reader really wants to find out how the story is merged. A VERY good read.
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this book. Several years ago, before meeting D, I dated a veteran who’d done two tours. He had PTSD. He was paranoid about things – always securing the house and had dreams and night terrors, like Freddie does in Litwack’s novel. I wasn’t sure if I could understand Freddie’s character, or his struggles, when I first started reading. Or how Litwack would alternate this dream world reality. But I found that I could not put this novel down ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Note: a copy of this review will be posted at http://www.onstarshipsanddragonwings.... on 12 June 2013.]

David Litwack’s Along the Watchtower is a gut-wrenching blend of fantasy and reality: a war story from the viewpoint of American war hero First Lieutenant Frederick Williams, whose body was shattered in an attack on his patrol by insurgents in Iraq; and a dream world into which Freddie retreats to escape his agony. It is a story of trauma to body and spirit, and of long and painful recovery.
Sanchit Bhandari
This review and many others can be found on my blog Musings of Immortals

Short Review

Along the watch tower—a book which takes you on a journey of self discovery, amalgamating the fantasy and real it for a rare experience.

Full Review

He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”-mark (5:34)

David Liwack’s Along the watch tower takes the reader on a trip to his inner world bridging the mystical fantasy to harsh reality. The best part
Jocelyn Sanchez
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story! A real page turner that will keep you up late at night reading. I adored this story and I think the characters were well written and very likeable.

This book goes back and forth between Lieutenant Freddie Williams and Frederick, Prince of Stormwind POV's. Lieutenant Freddie Williams was a soldier who got caught in an IED explosion and was left physically and mentally wounded. After he woke up from a medically induced coma he starts to realize that he inhabits two separate reali
Awesome Indies Book Awards
Along the Watchtower is a combination of fantasy and contemporary fiction that tells the story of an Iraqi war veteran’s physical and emotional healing. Parallel to the story of Frank defeating his inner demons in a hospital in America is that of a dauphin’s trials in a fantasy world. Prince Frederick must pass a series of mystical trials before he can become King, and if he fails, the Kingdom will loose its protective magic and fall to the enemy.

In the fantasy world, magic is real, but Frederic
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Litwack takes us on a journey of self-discovery, forgiveness and love. When meet young Lt. Freddie Williams, he has been the victim of a roadside IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and firefight. His injuries are so extensive, that he is put into a medically induced coma. During the few moments when he is lucid, he is in immense pain, disoriented; lost between reality and dreams. Lt. Williams is an avid World of Warcraft gamer. It didn't surprise me at all as I know A LOT of people become d ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lieutenant Freddie Williams is a war hero wounded in Iraq who must now undergo the long journey of recovery. Frederick is the dauphin of the mystical kingdom who must undergo four trials to ensure the safety of his people and earn his right to be crowned king. Freddie inhabits the waking world of therapists and learning to move forward after the tragedies that have befallen him. Frederick quests at night blurring the lines of reality and fantasy for Freddie. Both have important missions where fa ...more
Alaniya Patton
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original Review Post: http://quantumperceptions.wordpress.c...

Lieutenant Freddie Williams’ tour in Iraq ends with the blast that sends him injured into a place between worlds. It takes time to sort things out, recover bits and pieces to make sense of life again. Freddie has great help from Ralph and especially Becky during his recovery process as he finds the missing pieces beyond what is required to recover physical mobility. At first, it appears that he is locked into toggling between two worl
Carrie Slager
[Full disclosure: I received a free paperback from David Litwack so I could review this book in conjunction with the blog tour. As always, this is an honest review.]

Having previously read David Litwack’s work I was expecting a novel that was mostly high fantasy or maybe even a combination of science fiction and fantasy. What I didn’t expect was a high fantasy story running in conjunction with a very real heart-wrenching story.

Freddie has had a crappy life. Both of his parents and his older broth
Tara Lee
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be particularly interesting because I am a fan of World of Warcraft. My fiance is a HUGE fan of WoW. When the opportunity to review Along the Watchtower by David Litwack came up I was excited. Here was something I knew. The fantasy aspect of it at least. I can't even imagine, however, what it's like to be a war veteran, let alone a wounded one in a hospital trying to recover from a traumatic injury.

Freddie has lost everything that means anything to him. First his family, the
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

An uncertain young man who has lost his way, escapes into dreams of a magic kingdom. Normally the story would be that he finds himself a knight in shining armor, performing deeds of derring do. Or something like that.

Instead, in his dreams, Lieutenant Frederick Williams turns himself into a different young man, equally uncertain, but instead of having lost his way, Prince Frederick of Stormwind has just lost his father the King and has to earn his own kings
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Along the Watchtower by David Litwack blends fantasy and a modern-day tale filled with hope, overcoming guilt and recovery. As we travels back and forth between Lieutenant Freddie Williams reality and dream world I found myself captivated by both worlds. Three word review: Captivating, inspirational and enjoyable.

We travel with Freddie as he makes his way from war-torn Iraq to the VA hospital in Jamaica Plain, MA. He is in and out of consciousness as he fights to recover from an IED explosion. H
Pooja (On books!)
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

For more book reviews: On Books!

An IED explosion leaves a shattered Lieutenant and skilled gamer with two alternate realities: one filled with pain, attempts at half-hearted recuperation, reality hitting him in flashbacks and present tense… and the other -manifested in his dreams- a surge of quests, trials and tangible obstacles leading to the him being crowned King.

What unites these two realities?

o The fact that they are happening to the same person: the Lieutenant, who took his job seriou
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book goes back and forth between Lt. Freddie Williams as he's recovering from an IED explosion and Frederick, Prince of Stormwind. Lt. Freddie Williams is having a hard time coping with his memories so he goes into the dream world when he closes his eyes. As Prince Frederick, his father, the king, has just died and his kingdom is protected by magic which is bestowed on the reigning king. With his father dead, the magic will start to fade. Prince Frederick has thirty days to overcome the tri ...more
Tony Parsons
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1st Lieutenant Frederick (Freddie) Williams was stationed in An-Nasiriyah (Al Anbar) Iraq (9 months 7 days). The Humvee he was in got hit by an IED (7/22/2008) & now Frederick was going to be shipped to Ramstein Germany. In a medically induced coma for 2 weeks he was then shipped to a VA Hospital in West Roxbury, MA. Both legs were badly damaged. For now he could not walk.
An EKG & CCAT were done. The Glasgow coma scale was administered for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Freddy was finally told S
David Bruns
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on my website at

In Along the Watchtower, David Litwack takes a poetic approach to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and healing. LT Freddie Williams is a returning Iraq War vet, gravely injured both mentally and physically, and we follow his journey back to health.

The twist that Litwack adds to the plot is a parallel story about Prince Frederick, Dauphin of Stormwind. Frederick’s father, the king, has just passed and he must undergo a series of te
M.L. Doyle
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Litwack makes movement between the realities of Fredrick’s recovery from his wounds to the fantasy world of Stormwind seamless and convincing. Most times, Fredrick is unaware that he is living the two realities. At other times, the recovering veteran is confused about what is real and what isn’t. His journey in both worlds is filled with trials and challenges that are mostly heart wrenching and confusing rather than fearsome. That doesn’t diminish the level of bravery modern day Freddie displays ...more
Fiona Ingram
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An IED explosion in Iraq ends the war for Lieutenant Freddie Williams, leaving his mind and body shattered. Once a skilled gamer and expert in virtual and real warfare, he emerges from a medically induced coma to discover he’s inhabiting two separate realities. The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse for living when his friends are dead. The second is a dark fantasy realm of quests, demons, and magic that Freddie enters when he sleeps. In his dreams, he is Frederick, Pr ...more
Lis Ann - The Indigo Quill
See full post @ The Indigo Quill:

Along the Watchtower is a gripping story of a man who comes face-to-face with death in Iraq, which causes him to travel in and out of parallel worlds through his consciousness. In our world, he is Lieutenant Frederick Williams. In a world that he escapes to during his recovery from an IED explosion, he is Prince Frederick of Stormwind. I say these are parallel because the happenings within each world coincide with the oth
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2r, fantasy, fiction
This was a really interesting read. It follows Lt. Freddie Williams as he recovers from injuries he sustained from an IED in the war. Freddie is an interesting character because he was damaged before the war, and damaged because of the war. This follows his recovery from both life traumas and shows how he deals with it by the development of a fantasy land that is somehow related to his involvement with the fantasy computer game World of Warcraft.

Initially, Freddie is able to keep the two worlds
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The urge to write first struck at age sixteen when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the wild night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by the northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and ...more

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