Official Review: Skills of the Warramunga by Greg Kater

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Skills of the Warramunga by Greg Kater

Post by Cecilia_L » 12 Sep 2018, 23:23

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Skills of the Warramunga" by Greg Kater.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Skills of the Warramunga is the third book in the Warramunga Trilogy by author Greg Kater. Set in 1946 Malaya, the plot of this intriguing historical fiction includes kidnapping, theft, and murder.

When the MI6 head of operations, Colonel Johnny Cook is kidnapped by bandits and held captive in the jungles of Malaya, his Australian colleagues make it their mission to rescue him. The three men had previously worked together running an intelligence operation in Cairo, in 1941. Jamie Munro is a former army officer, and he and his friend Jack O'Brien, who is half-Aboriginal, now head Darwin's Commonwealth Investigation Service. As they head to rescue Johnny, they are joined by Sarah, Jacko's half-sister, who is a Warramunga Aboriginal and a skilled tracker.

Meanwhile, there's been two murders and a robbery at the tin mine near Parit. The whereabouts of the mysterious Pieter de Groote, who reported the crime and is now a suspect, remain unknown. With the increase in recent assaults and burglaries, local law enforcement fears the crimes may be related to rumors about a criminal organization seeking to disrupt the upcoming Malayan Union ceremony. When it's learned that Johnny Cook was kidnapped because he was mistaken for one of the new government administration members, Colonel Samuel Martin, the plot thickens.

There was never a dull moment in this action-packed historical adventure, and I found it hard to put down. As I haven't read the other books in the trilogy, I wondered if the book would stand on its own--it did. The plot was well-written, and the author also intertwined pertinent details from the previous books, The Warramunga's War and The Warramunga's Aftermath of War. Though I usually prefer to read a series in order, this book piqued my interest enough that it's likely I'll go back and read the first two.

The plot is supported by a diverse cast of well-developed characters. I particularly enjoyed the way the author brought his characters to life through the use of their native dialects. Not only could I hear the Aussie and British accents as I read; I was introduced to new vocabulary from different languages, too. I also appreciated the author's occasional use of humor in the story.

The only thing I would change in this book is the use of one word, "lubra." The word is used to introduce Sarah, and by definition, it refers to a female Aboriginal Australian. However, when I looked up the unfamiliar word, I learned that it is considered racially offensive. It's likely the word wasn't offensive in 1946, but it bears noting.

It's evident the book was professionally edited, as I didn't note a single error. I'm pleased to rate this page-turner 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction and action adventures. However, the book would appeal to a broader audience as well. The plot-related violence was not graphic, and there wasn't any profanity.

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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Sep 2018, 14:16

I'm glad this one stood on its own as I haven't read the others either. It's evident that you enjoyed it; it's nice that it's professionally edited as well. Still, I don't think I would want to read this one without reading the others. Thanks!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Sep 2018, 15:41

I understand. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by 1ditzyrn » 13 Sep 2018, 16:35

Thanks for pointing out that the novel can stand on its own. It sounds very interesting, but I wouldn't normally read it if I had to read the previous two in order to get the full story. It sounds very entertaining, and now that I know I won't be missing part of the story by starting mid-series, I will have to add it to my list. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Sep 2018, 17:12

You're welcome. I appreciate your comment and hope you enjoy the book.

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Post by Berry obehi » 13 Sep 2018, 17:23

The novel sounds so interesting i think i might have to read it on my own ,to be able to enjoy it on full.

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Post by crediblereading2 » 13 Sep 2018, 21:23

I love action-packed stories such as this one. Missing persons, murders and robberies will certainly keep the readers' eyes open. Thank you for a thrilling review of this book.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Sep 2018, 21:50

Berry obehi wrote:
13 Sep 2018, 17:23
The novel sounds so interesting i think i might have to read it on my own ,to be able to enjoy it on full.
Thanks for your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Sep 2018, 21:52

crediblereading2 wrote:
13 Sep 2018, 21:23
I love action-packed stories such as this one. Missing persons, murders and robberies will certainly keep the readers' eyes open. Thank you for a thrilling review of this book.
I appreciate your comment. Hope you enjoy the book!

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Post by CryptQueen » 13 Sep 2018, 21:55

This book doesn't seem like my cup of tea so I'll pass. Good review though.

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Post by Debjani Ghosh » 14 Sep 2018, 02:09

The Warramunga series has received high acclaim in the OnlineBookClub platform. It's good to know from your review that the third installment in the series can be read as a standalone and that it has lived up to the expectations that it's predecessors set. I would definitely like to try out these novels. Thanks for the review!

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Post by 420waystoreachthesun » 14 Sep 2018, 08:01

I really love the title, I would go just for that. But your review has made me even more excited about this read.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 14 Sep 2018, 08:35

CryptQueen wrote:
13 Sep 2018, 21:55
This book doesn't seem like my cup of tea so I'll pass. Good review though.
I appreciate your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 14 Sep 2018, 08:36

Debjani Ghosh wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 02:09
The Warramunga series has received high acclaim in the OnlineBookClub platform. It's good to know from your review that the third installment in the series can be read as a standalone and that it has lived up to the expectations that it's predecessors set. I would definitely like to try out these novels. Thanks for the review!
Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 14 Sep 2018, 08:37

420waystoreachthesun wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 08:01
I really love the title, I would go just for that. But your review has made me even more excited about this read.
Thank you.

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