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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Acwoolet
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Throughout Bitter Vengeance, Nick Winter uses his knowledge of; social traditions, religion, and politics to further his mission all while continuing to battle demons due to prejudice from his own mixed ancestry. He is left with many grim decisions between saving the love of his life and protecting the brittle peace that Nelson Mandela’s Rainbow Nation has given the region.
Bitter Vengeance is a fast paced, yet exquisitely detailed novel about life in both India and South Africa. One is fully immersed into what daily life is like for the citizens of these nations, even going into detail about what it was like to walk down the streets and what one may have eaten for lunch. Set in a first person narrative, the reader is able to get into the heads of Nick Winter and his enemies; giving the novel a very well rounded understanding of the espionage life.
The novel is written in South African English; which, although takes a little getting used to, there is a helpful guide at the beginning of the book to remove any confusion from the reader. The writing itself flows nicely without many pauses, keeping up with the fast paced setting of the novel. Nick Winter is definitely a character that you can get behind, cheering for his successes and hoping against all hope that he will succeed. The secondary characters also give the novel a robust quality.
While there are many good qualities to the novel, there were a few violent scenes that were just a little too graphic for me. I understand that it’s probably very true to what may actually happen in the real life of a spy; however, it turned me off of the story quite a bit once I came to these parts. Unfortunately for me: in some sections, even with the fast paced tempo of the book, I found my attention straying from the book. The characters were interesting and the story line was anything but boring; yet I found myself not as immersed in it as I would have liked to have been.
While there were a few issues that I had found with the book; such as the graphic qualities to some scenes and not being as engrossed in the story as I would have liked, the book has many fantastic qualities that I believe fans of spy thrillers would truly enjoy. For that reason, I give Bitter Vengeance 3 out of 4 stars. With the descriptions and insights to these parts of the world, along with the fast paced, colorful setting, I believe this book is worth reading: as long as one doesn’t mind the more graphic qualities.
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