THE PITS begins in Afghanistan where the scene is expertly set by the author. It is clear that the author has researched Marine life and the reader feels immediately at home in the world he has created. The heat, the dust, the constant danger are all excellently wrought and by the time the street battle commences in which Kramer and Shadow are both injured, the reader is well invested in both characters and rooting for their safety. This sets up the rest of the novel perfectly. A strong story with an intriguing premise, there is plenty here to keep a reader gripped throughout. Overall, there is much to be admired in this novel. The plot is well thought-out and intricately woven. The characters are strong and relatable – I particularly liked the character of Kramer’s mother. The author did a great job of bringing her to life. In fact, the chapter where Kramer visits his mother and father on the farm feature some of the best writing in the book and some great dialogue. Dialogue is a particular talent of this author’s, with interactions being natural and snappy throughout.
by WILDsound Writing Festival - Critique Committee