By Bernard Leo Remakus, Wasteland Press, $13.95, 144 pages

If Lifetime produced this as a movie, I’d watch. Mia is the story of a soldier who, due to a horrible accident, can only be saved through a gender-changing operation. The CIA then hires her to take down the terrorist responsible for the accident. She then heads back home, where she becomes a teacher and moves in with her widow, and is there to help her widow and son get over their loss. Yes, the plot seems silly on the onset, but it somehow works, and works really, really well.

There are a number of twists and turns, yet always seems to straighten out. The biggest problem is the lack of a decent antagonist; Mia overcomes any difficulty placed before her far too easily most of the time. Mia is such a strong protagonist that she deserves a strong antagonist, and that’s the only lacking element in this book. Otherwise, there’s a lot of nice character development, and the characters grow logically; of special note is the son, who matures nicely and logically, without the usual coincidences that seem to litter books. Once Mia shows him how to deal with his anger issues, he becomes a great kid. The romance between husband and widow is especially nice, as it grows rather than explodes.

This is definitely a book that will keep you turning the pages. It’s probably one of the more interesting stories one could read this year. It definitely shows the adaptability of the human spirit and how love will always find a way. It also helps that the pun it sends you out on is one that actually makes you smile a little bit. If you think that you have every permutation of the veteran-returns-home story, this one will definitely take you by surprise.

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