Daybreak by Matt Gallagher
2/20/24; 256 pages
Daybreak by Matt Gallagher follows a disaffected former U.S.soldier as he joins the Ukraine’s fight against Russia. It is recommended. Luke “Pax” Paxton has been out of the US military for almost a decade when he agrees to follow his fellow veteran, Han Lee, to the Ukraine in winter 2022 in order to help in some way. Pax also hopes to find a former lover, Svitlana, in Lviv. He finds Svitlana, who is married with a son, while also finding ways to assist others by working unloading supplies. Pax struggles with PTSD as he tries to help to somehow atone for his role in past wars.
The real main character is the conflict, the war itself, which effects everyone in the novel, physically, psychologically, and historically. Pax is a man who is searching for meaning and a purpose in life. He thinks it will be found in a war zone and that somehow assisting in another war will help him find purpose and meaning in his life. He also seems to think finding Svitlana will provide him with a sense of purpose and peace. The plot mainly unfolds through the point-of-view of Pax and I found it very difficult to connect with him as a character. Thanks to Atria Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via Edelweiss. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.