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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 10/2013
  • 978-1492107545
  • 280 pages
  • $10.95
Ebook Details
  • 10/2013
  • B00GDL2XMS
  • 280 pages
  • $7.00
The Mass of Men

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

WINNER OF THE FLORIDA AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION SILVER MEDAL PRESIDENT'S AWARD IN GENRE FICTION!

An IndieReader Approved Book!

They huddle in a darkened doorway, swallowing their fear and awaiting the signal. The fire starts small, building rapidly as it draws breath, consuming everything in its path. Only then can they enter – on hands and knees – to battle the most elemental of forces. This is how firefighters are made.

For the cadets of Class #64, their training ushers them into a new world, one in which their very survival depends on strength, courage, and determination. They will be relentlessly tested. Some will succeed, some will be broken, and the bonds they form will surpass any they have known before.

For Samantha, the lone female in the group; for Ty, a fellow cadet; and for Commander Daniels, who oversees their training, these bonds are intensified and defined by the rank structure in which they move.

Throughout the course of their training, the cadets will not only be transformed mentally and physically, they will evolve emotionally. They will combat their weaknesses, confront their fears, and break through barriers.

And for Sam, Ty, and Daniels, their lives will be changed forever.

The Mass of Men takes the reader inside the grueling training of firefighters, revealing the drama, humor, and intensity of an academy. The punishing physical demands are only part of the challenge as the cadets overcome fears and wrestle with conflict, knowing they will one day be responsible for the lives of others.

Reviews
IndieReader

An IndieReader Approved Book!

THE MASS OF MEN revolves around Samantha, or Sam as she is known–the sole female student of a fire training academy–Ty, a shy, young cadet, and Daniels, the head of the academy. Sam grew up in an environment where she was always surrounded by men as her father was a naval officer. As the only woman among a mass of men in the academy, Sam is at once privileged (she has the women’s locker room all to herself) and at a disadvantage (she is initially not taken seriously by the others and has to put in double the effort to prove herself).

Ty has had to deal with an abusive father his entire life, which shapes him into a reticent and mostly silent person. Lastly, there’s Daniels, who has had a successful career but is emotionally closed due to a personal tragedy that plummets him into the depths of grief.

The story begins with short, conversational introductions to the bunch of new recruits and then moves on to tighten the focus on Sam, Ty, and Daniels. Slowly, Ty becomes deeply attached to Sam, their relationship blossoming into a heartwarming friendship. Author Rachel K. Wentz beautifully shows the confusing emotions that Ty has in the beginning and the process he goes through to eventually find his answer.

Sam and Daniels are wildly, irrationally attracted to each other, and Wentz skillfully develops their relationship bit by bit through the novel. Finally, there’s Ty and Daniels. Both men are running away from the shadows of their past and it’s not an easy journey for either of them. However, slowly and surely they begin to trust and lean on each other.

Apart from the bonds the characters develop with each other, there is the overarching journey of each individual as they grow in their own ways. Sam proves her mettle and a fine friendship develops between her and many of the other cadets. Ty begins to show more of his innate sensitive personality and a quiet strength that had been hidden within him. Daniels starts to open up, which is, ironically, needed to close his wounds.

How will each of them fare? How will each of them forge their own paths while discovering the comfort and care of having another to walk with them?Wentz shows the nuances and complexities in each relationship through some refreshing and honest writing. She traces each person’s evolution through the duration of the training as each aspect of the academy impacts them in different ways.

Written mostly from Sam’s viewpoint, Wentz has, no doubt, relied heavily on her experiences in her thirteen-year career as a firefighter and paramedic in the Orlando Fire Department to craft this book. There are long, detailed passages describing the different training processes and the physically demanding exercises. As graduation day approaches, the cadets have to go through a final test, which will tell them if they are ready to risk their lives for someone else. Wentz brings all the threads together in an exciting, nail-biting climax, which is a fitting ending to the book.

THE MASS OF MEN is an engrossing story about the training and lives of firefighters, written by an author who has clearly lived through many of the experiences she so vividly describes.~Swati Nair for IndieReader

IndieReader 2021 Discovery Awards Review

THE MASS OF MEN by Rachel K. Wentz utilizes complex characters and intricate relationships to portray the intense nature of life in firefighter academy training. Providing an incredibly detailed account of the grueling challenges these cadets face both personally and professionally, the story will pull readers into the rollercoaster of emotions with each turn of the page.

Rachel Poli

The Mass of Men by Rachel K. Wentz is a fascinating read with great insight into what people need to go through in order to become a firefighter. While the actual story elements are fiction, the rest of it – training at the academy – is true.

Knowing someone who went through the academy and is now a firefighter, I found this book to be pretty relatable, even though I didn’t go through it myself. However, Sam, the protagonist, is the only female at the academy. There are issues of sexism in the story as not all of her peers thought she should be there. I was annoyed at these characters but it was done well. Each character had their own ups and downs and struggles and learned to work as a team.

If you know a firefighter in real life or are just interested in seeing what they have to go through, this is a great read.

News
05/01/2021
IndieReader's 2021 Discovery Awards Review for The Mass of Men is Posted!

THE MASS OF MEN by Rachel K. Wentz utilizes complex characters and intricate relationships to portray the intense nature of life in firefighter academy training. Providing an incredibly detailed account of the grueling challenges these cadets face both personally and professionally, the story will pull readers into the rollercoaster of emotions with each turn of the page.

03/25/2021
The Mass of Men is featured on PrettyHot.com!

The Mass of Men is featured on PrettyHot.com!

01/30/2021
The Mass of Men makes the IndieReader "Best Of" Book List!

IndieReader adds The Mass of Men to their "Best Of" List.

04/01/2014
The Mass of Men wins Silver Medal in the Florida Authors and Publishers Associat

The Mass of Men medals in the FAPA President's Awards.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 10/2013
  • 978-1492107545
  • 280 pages
  • $10.95
Ebook Details
  • 10/2013
  • B00GDL2XMS
  • 280 pages
  • $7.00

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