Raza, a poor orphan trapped in the slums of Pakistan, is sent to a strict madrassah where he meets and falls in love with Perveen. They attempt to flee the city to escape their respective fates but fail. Perveen, pregnant, is sent back to her family, and Raza is sent to Afghanistan to fight as a Taliban solider. American journalist, Rachael Brown, travels to Afghanistan to cover the political unrest. When she meets Raza for a brief interview, she sees for the first time the true face of the Taliban: poor and desperate young men with nowhere else to go. As the war unfolds, their paths cross again, and each must decide what they owe the other.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
I want to begin this review by stating that when Imran Omer contacted me to read Entangled Lives I was very upfront about my initial thoughts based off the book summary. I said the following to him…. “It’s not my typical read but I am willing to give it a chance.”
As you read my review below, I think you’ll see I was fair and honest. I may not like the subject matter but he did give more insight into a world I’m not overly familiar with.
War has always been a part of human existence. People fight for money, for power, or to be the dominant force over mankind. Yes, most individuals join the fight out of their own free will. However, some people are forced to pick up a weapon because they either kill or be killed for their defiance.
In Entangled Lives, Imran Omer (the author) allowed readers to see the harsh reality many men, women, and children face in their war-torn country. They are beaten, maimed, killed, and left without many options. They witness death. They live in constant fear for their lives. No place is safe…. not even their homes.
I live in the United States. While we have violence and mass shootings, we still have many freedoms where the people of Afghanistan seem to have none.
I think Imran Omer’s intent with this book was to make us feel empathy for the people of Afghanistan. I think he wanted us to see not all the soldiers want to fight; that some soldiers do have a merciful heart.
While I can appreciate his effort, it’s hard for me to associate the Taliban with anything but violence, death, and destruction. I did feel compassion for all the innocent people in the line of fire or those affected by the ongoing war.
Now that I spoke upon the contents of the story, I will address the way it was delivered. At times, Imran transitioned from event to event smoothly. Case in point, the diary entries were integrated nicely. On the other hand, the transitions from Raza’s story to Rachel’s didn’t always blend well. As the story progressed, the flow became choppy and sections felt rushed. I did knock some points off for how the book was laid out but not on the contents. I may not like the subject matter but Imran did a good job relaying how harsh the conditions are over in Afghanistan.
Imran was born in Karachi and studied in Karachi and Chicago. A graduate of the University of Illinois and American College of Education, Imran teaches Art and English as a Second Language (ESL). He has taught in the United States, Oman and Saudi Arabia. He loves teaching but his passion lies in painting and writing. His artwork and some of his articles can be seen at www.imranomerart.com He resides in Homewood, Illinois.
A former Air Force Pararescueman, wounded in Afghanistan, Wes lives for his Paladin reboots and cringes when he’s confronted with jury duty. An attempt at jury tampering spirals out of control, Wes’s new reboot turns deadly, threatening him and those he’s sworn to keep safe.
Izzy Monroe knows how to keep a secret…
Con artist/art consultant working for the FBI, Izzy is in the courtroom to ID the cartel drug lord she witnessed buying stolen art. When her criminal past catches up to her, Izzy needs help dodging multiple dangers, but Wes can’t protect her if she won’t share her deepest secrets.
Isabetta Monroe tugged the knit watch cap low over her eyebrows and slipped out of the twenty-third-floor hotel room. Face averted to avoid the security camera, she quickly covered the distance to the end of the hall and backed into the concrete stairwell. She untied the navy hoodie from her waist, slipped it on, zipped it closed, and stuffed her hat in the front pouch. With the hood covering her head and a good portion of her face, she turned, filled her lungs, and began the long trip down the steps.
By the twenty-first landing, she’d established a good speed and steady rhythm. A mischievous grin appeared. For the next twenty floors, Isabetta softly whistled a medley of Cole Porter tunes.
She hesitated just outside the hotel’s service entrance. The instant the cool night air of October in Atlanta touched her face, the hair on the back of her neck went up. Trained from childhood to respect her intuition, Isabetta spent several moments studying each shadowy corner. No one lurked.
She pulled her hat back on and moved past the loading dock. Still alert, she slowed at the corner of the building, stripped off the hoodie, and rolled it into a ball. She spotted the homeless woman sitting in the same spot as yesterday. Picking up speed and without breaking stride, Isabetta dropped the hoodie onto the woman’s lap.
On the sidewalk, Isabetta stuffed her hands into her jeans pockets and fingered the metal mailbox key that had been waiting for her at the hotel desk earlier tonight. No note, no explanation. Just the small key engraved with UPS and the number 347.
She kept her head down for several blocks, then glanced up and slowed as she approached the UPS Store. Isabetta shivered. Che cavolo. What the hell? She skidded to a stop, pivoted to face a clothing-store display window next door to UPS, and pretended to admire the slinky holiday dress on the mannequin while focusing on her reflection.
Isabetta used the ambient light to check behind her. Street traffic, parked cars, and a solitary pedestrian. For as far down both sides of the street as she could see, everything appeared normal. What was out of place here? What was she reacting to? A variety of minor things could send her antenna up, but it usually took an authentic threat to set off her internal alarm.
Ginger Odom has sworn to become self-reliant…Until she is arrested in a small town and framed for the murder of a police officer. Seems everyone in the community wants her behind bars, regardless of the truth, so her aunt enlists the help of the Paladin Group. A team of wounded former military men and women, now civilian lawyers and investigators, they rescue people in serious trouble.
Hale Peters is determined to ignore his knee injury…The former Air Force Pararescueman, wounded during a rocket attack on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, accepts his first reboot for Paladin. His mission—keep Ginger safe until he can prove her innocence—becomes a bigger challenge than expected when he and Ginger clash over who’s in charge.
The Devil Dogs just want to help…The group of older veterans steps up to assist, but when Ginger’s life is threatened by the real killer, Hale and Ginger need to work together if they hope to stay alive.
Sara Gallagher escaped the memories of a painfully shy childhood and her hopeless crush on the boy next door by joining the USAF where Senior Airman Gallagher excelled as a SERE- Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape instructor. But when a training accident leaves Sara scarred and deaf in one ear, she returns home to join the Paladin Group.
Chris Braxton was Peachwood’s golden boy, a rookie major league pitcher, until a drunk driver shattered his shoulder and his dreams. Now entrepreneur Chris’ upscale sporting goods company is negotiating a nationwide expansion. Enroute to a crucial meeting, he overhears the details of a planned felony. When Chris and his family are threatened, he turns to the Paladin Group.
CJ MATTHEWgrew up in an Air Force family living all over the US and around the world. It proved to be the perfect experience for gathering ideas and material for future books. And for meeting real life heroes and heroines in uniforms and flight-suits. She spent her high school and university years in California, which inspired her love of marine life, and the Pacific Ocean.
As a young girl, she loved books and reading. Arriving at each new duty station, the Colonel’s eldest daughter’s first priority was to locate the base library and befriend the librarians.
As an adult, CJ divided her time between the joys of raising a son and a daughter and a career in medical sales, marketing, and medical practice management. Then in 2007, CJ began her romance novel writing career. Fascinated with vampires and shapeshifters, her first stories form a unique dolphin shapeshifter series based in Santa Barbara, California. According to CJ, a huge attraction to writing paranormal romance is the ability to do serious world-building and to set your own rules. CJ spent the next several years honing her craft, acquiring a literary agent, and continuing to write while the agent pitched the dolphins to NY publishers.
In spring of 2015, CJ gave up on New York. From August to October she self-published the first three of the Dolphin Shore Shifter series. In 2016 she released two additional dolphin books and debuted her romantic suspense series: Paladin Group. The Paladin books are set in a small southern town, and star wounded air force veterans, men and women warriors turned civilian lawyers and investigators determined to continue their rescue work.
In October of 2016, CJ is introducing A Major Seduction, book 1 of the Colonel’s Daughters contemporary romance quintet.
A member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and Kiss of Death, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta. When she isn’t writing or reading romances, CJ spends time with her two grown children, their spouses, a brilliant grandson and a feisty cat named Max.
Schedule permitting, CJ loves to travel, to discover new favorite places as well as meeting new reader/friends in both the US and around the world. Her books have sold in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the UK.