This novel is the story of Lieutenant Kimo Kitazono, a Junior Officer in the US Navy. It is not a conventional military or war novel. It is all about Kimo's personal experiences and the feelings he got.
The format to this book is similar to a blog that anyone can read or write on the internet. James has wriiten his book in a blogging style, even including the notes after some sections which are like blog links and labels. Just like workplace blogs on the internet, the likes of which employers try to prohibit, Kimo's War reports the bad side of the US Navy. The public face of the US Navy is one of world leading excellence but Kimo's experience is one of bad management, disinformation and a budget restricted failing service. Kimo highlights all the problems with the US Navy in America, Kuwait and Iraq, where top brass claim to be 100% ready for action but are clearly lacking in resources.
Although Kimo's War is about the US Navy, most of the conflicts Kimo encounters are in all large companies and organisations around the world. Staff are keen and are doing their level best only to be stopped by incompetent management.
This story is littered with many typos and bad grammar but I will NOT mark this book down for that because it reflects the many spelling and grammar mistakes on company notice boards around the world. This sloppiness in spelling and grammar makes this book realistic because it is how people speak and write their personal blogs. Kimo's War is not a polished military, the good guys win - novel but a Junior Officer's personal notebook of how he got on. It is about the mental conflict within the head of each serviceman rather than action on the battlefield.
As a coping strategy for all the workplace stress Kimo has to endure, he has an imaginary friend inside his body by the name of Lapu. This is quite a common tactic used by all people in high stress jobs. A lot of Kimo's War is about stress management yet Kimo later becomes a victim of PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Kimo's War is not just about everything that is wrong within the US Navy but with how people cope mentally with their jobs. Kimo tells the whole mindset within the Navy and how things could be better. He details all the frustations within military life but also adapting to the very different challenges of civilian life.
I really enjoyed reading Kimo's War, it was quite an eye opener for me. James wrote this novel in 2013 and it is available as a 449 KB Amazon Kindle eBook. When I finished reading it all, I was left with a great feeling of empathy for Kimo. He was a man who tried so hard but realised that in the end he was only a tiny cog in a huge machine who could be forgotten and replaced. Kimo's job and experiences are the same the world over in many different jobs. The only person who really cared for Kimo at the sharp end was his imaginary friend, Lapu.