Having recently learned that I don’t enjoy military thrillers, I was dubious when I picked this one up. But I’d already signed up for the tour, and I honor my commitments. And, like the one time I was forced to watch a play about World War II on my birthday, it turned out better than OK! That turned out to be one of my favorite plays during my semester abroad in England. And this book was pretty awesome!

About the Book

Embark on a gripping journey of sacrifice and self-discovery in The Asymmetric Man, a thrilling tale set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Vietnam War. Follow Blake, a young recruit turned undercover agent, as he navigates the treacherous world of espionage, survival and forbidden love. From war-ravaged Saigon to seemingly impenetrable jungle and the tranquility of a Buddhist monastery, this riveting novel explores the power of recognising and embracing one’s true calling, no matter the cost.

My Thoughts

While the book is “set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Vietnam War,” it also flits to different timelines, following the main character through different times in his life and career. I definitely saw what the author could have meant by “asymmetric man,” but of course these sorts of things are wibbly, and you might interpret it differently – so I don’t want to spoil that for you. But it is incredibly interesting to watch. The sex is a little more graphic than I prefer, but it probably barely rates on the spicy scale for most people – unless you’re a clean romance/closed-door fan like me. The violence levels were what you would expect in a book involving war. And the story has something for pretty much everyone – romance, adventure, family, friendships, religion, philosophy.

Blake, sometimes John, is a great character. He’s very stoic, almost to the point of making you wonder if he’s a sociopath. He’s definitely a morally grey hero, and in the end, I was left wondering if he really was the hero of this story or not. I loved his friend in Vietnam, Khein. He was one of my favorite characters, Cathy, his British receptionist being my other favorite. Hoa, Khein’s daughter is also a wonderful character!

I’ll admit I don’t know much about this period. We didn’t make it that far in history at my school. We always started back at a certain point and never got past WWII with any depth. Several times we did a rush job in the decades after that leading up to the years I was in school, but I never really learned much. I also don’t know much about Vietnam, so I enjoyed getting an insight into their culture.

I always love a good timeline jump story, but I did get a little confused by this one, especially in the beginning. But I did manage to catch on eventually. I was a little saddened by the ending, but the author included a note saying this is a prequel to her other two books – so maybe there is hope for the things I didn’t prefer. I’m so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me on this tour.

Who’s It For?

If you enjoy epic historical fiction filled with romance, war, espionage, religion, and more, this is a great story for you. It’s got a little something for everyone, so people who like to read will probably enjoy this book. I was a little skeptical because I’ve recently learned war books aren’t my cup of tea, but I was pleasantly surprised! This isn’t like any book I’ve read before!

Content Warnings: Murder, Violence, Death, SA, Graphic Adult Situations, Adult Language, War, Religious Ideation

About the Author

Alex Rushton has had a varied career as a design researcher, Occupational Therapist, counsellor and psychologist among other roles, before branching out as a novelist.
She is a member of the Society of Authors and is on the Council of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ). Link: SWWJ.co.uk
Alex is also a long-standing member of Walton Wordsmiths, a local writers’ group. Link: waltonwordsmiths.org.uk.


Amazon US: https://a.co/d/dWEgaNn
Amazon UK: https://amzn.eu/d/4a5JxH7
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/199992119-the-asymmetric-man
Author Website: https://alexrushton.co.uk/