I can’t speak for other writers, but for me, when a review comes in that really gets it, that digs into the true fundamentals behind the telling of the tale, it leaves me so grateful and willing to keep on keepin’ on as I work to bring to life the next story. Thank you so much Silver Screen Videos for the Amazon review of MAC WALKER’S REGRET. I am going to re-post it here in its entirety.
War Is H*ll,
Many authors have written eloquently at great length on the horrors of war. D.W. Ulsterman writes equally eloquently, but much more succinctly, on the same subject in “MAC WALKER’S REGRET,” a story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.
Mac Walker is Ulsterman’s series hero, a tough, highly trained ex-Navy SEAL, like many who populate the pages of action novels. Many writers of novel series offer free short stories to give readers a taste of the hero in action in hopes they will purchase other, longer works. Frankly, I was expecting just this type of story, a brief showcase of the hero’s combat talents. After reading the story, I still don’t have much of an idea about who Walker is or what he can do (other than the facts that he’s an overall decent guy and pretty handy with a gun). Instead, I was given a look at something considerably more profound, a brief demonstration of the horrors of war brought home simply and powerfully.
“Regret” is a short story with a simple story line. Walker is in the Sudan, trying to arm and train a group of Christian villagers how to defend themselves against the bands of marauding militant thugs who periodically terrorize them. He befriends one local boy named Musa, who calls Walker, simply “America.” One day, a couple of jeeps carrying some of the militants try to attack the village, and only Mac stands in their way.
Ulsterman can describe action scenes well, using short, punchy sentences and paragraphs, and his account of the ensuing firefight is crisp and professional. The shootout is fairly short and, eventually, somewhat suspenseful, but Ulsterman isn’t aiming for suspense here. Instead, he concentrates on depicting the bigger picture, the effect the firefight has on the villagers and on Walker, a seemingly hardened combat veteran. The firefight winds up having a profound effect on Walker (the title of this story is no accident), far more of an effect than an enemy bullet would have.
“Regret” surprised me in a very positive way. I expected a meat-and-potatoes action story and, instead, got something that tugged at the emotions, taking a couple of surprising twists along the way. Instead of a flag-waving gung ho American simply blasting a group of enemy slimeballs to bits, I got a eye opening reminder than war is never as cut and dry as it may seem and that there’s far more death and destruction resulting than any actual glory. The story’s short length is actually a plus here, since a longer story might have become overly maudlin. My only regret in reading “Regret” was that I tried to prejudge D.W. Ulsterman.
READ MAC WALKER’S REGRET FOR FREE HERE