Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Synopsis: Eastam has been at war with Westam for as long as Tessa Stilfin can remember. When her childhood friend and military pilot, Gideon Thrall, is awarded a medal and announced a hero, Tessa's life is changed. Everyone in her world has been caught up in a never-ending war, but Tessa accidentally ends up in an adventure that brings questions and answers.
Positives: The author reveals the preciousness of human life as Tessa seeks to protect Gideon who is upset because he has killed people in his bombings as a pilot. Gideon reveals a compassion and care for mankind and attempts to protect Tessa also. Haddix displays the problems with remote controlled piloting of bombers, presenting the idea that this makes killing too "easy," not allowing people to see their targets and counting humans as numbers, devaluing human life. In the end, Tessa is counted as brave because she had hope and was willing to search for answers.
Negatives: The characters do choose to lie to each other, and their enemies, when they deem it "necessary," though it seems to complicate things more.
-human life is valuable
-mankind is prone to fighting
-the search for truth is good
Conclusion: A slower read, The Always War was interesting, ending every chapter with a cliff-hanger encouraging the reader to keep going, but I found the end to be disappointing and rather to similar to the ends of the movies I Robot, and Eagle Eye. Ages: 11+ girls or boys.
Rating: 2 (Didn't like it.)