4 out of 4 stars
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The Warramunga's War is the title of the book authored by Greg Kater. It is the first book in a series of three books. It is the first work of fiction by this author. It is an amazing book that has two hundred and ninety eight standard pages hence can be read in a short time. The captivating nature of the book coupled with the brevity is what makes it interesting to read. The book is narrated from a third person’s point of view. This enables us to get all events as they happen unlike if one character was to narrate from an individual point of view.
The book begins with some war in the Middle East in Syria where Lieutenant James Munro has been on assignment. His partner is killed and he himself escapes death narrowly. He is rescued by Jacko. The story then takes another turn as the two friends are assigned to a secret operative mission in Egypt. They are to be operating as spies and are attached to the British MI6. Here, their work is interesting as they start to gather information through some beautiful ladies they hire to be helping. It is surprising that love affairs begin here also as Jacko falls in love with a girl he met as he was out during one of his days-off from work. Jacko had visited the Giza Pyramids and he met Monique who was a tour guide. Monique guides Jacko around after agreeing on the amount he was to pay. They become friends and after some frequent visits, the two get into a relationship. The story is full of some surprises here and there and I have to admit that attempting to summarize them would be difficult. To get more on the exciting investigations that follow, you have to read the book yourself.
I found the book particularly of interest to me as it interacts with real historical events, especially the World War II. I think I have learnt about some events that were happening behind the scenes because I never did much History as a subject in High School. The story not only revolves around the major story of how the operatives succeeded in their mission in Egypt but also has other stories such as the investigation and the final capture of some criminal gang that had terrorized people through robbery with violence, multiple rape cases and murder. It surprised me that the leader of the gang was a former colleague of the spies in Egypt.
The story can be summarized in a few words that good will always triumph over evil. It touches on teamwork and the result of people working with proper coordination. It proves that even those who appear too weak to do a particular task can do it well. Indeed, never should a book be judged by its cover. The story line flows easily. Hence, the reader cannot get lost at any point even though the narrator jumps back and forth in time periodically to give a glimpse of the past. The description of people and places is so vivid and wonderful. The words used are not too cumbersome to understand either.
However, it is worth noting that some words are incomprehensible. These words are mostly found in the statements made by one of the characters, Sarah as she converses with Jamie and Jacko. The following are some examples of the statements:
1. “Bloody no yusim white pela you, Jacko,” she said with a big smile.
2. “Nogat kettum lost, Jacko, no yusim white pela.”
The words should at least sound as close as possible to the English pronunciation so that the reader can understand what is being communicated without much struggle. For example, words below can be gotten more easily than the words quoted above:
“Me ken mekim in two days,” said Sarah breaking into the conversation.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars with the above points taken into consideration. The story is just amazing and the little errors are within the dialogues which makes me think that the author was trying to bring out how those characters pronounced words given that English was not their first language. Some like Sarah have not been to school hence her pronunciation is worse. One error repeated severally is on the use of ‘me’ instead of ‘my’. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction. The good thing about the book is that it is free of explicit scenes and thus anyone can read it.
The book addresses several issues. An example is racism. This appears more profoundly when one villain describes the shooting of some black men as a sport to enjoy to see. This is when he describes how they murdered seven Aborigines by shooting them. The issue of racism also appears as the story of the murder of Jews by the Nazi Army is also captured in the story. In fact, most of the spies used by Jacko and Jamie are of Jewish origin hence wanted to help in the war against the Germans. It is also saddening that within some parts of Australia, some pubs prohibit the sale of beers to the Aborigines. Gender discrimination is also evident. Jacko, who is Sarah’s brother, is taken through formal schooling whereas Sarah is not. I could not describe this action in other words other than gender discrimination.
To say that the summary of the book can be given here would be a white lie as there is much to be said about it. This can be gotten by reading the book itself as my review will not give it all.
The Warramunga's War
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