4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
I give The Warramunga’s War by Greg Kater 4 out of 4 stars because it’s an interesting action packed mysterious story with interesting characters in two vastly different locations. It’s a historical fiction book set during and after World War II. The book is easy to read and draws the reader into the story through its likable characters and great descriptions of the settings. The Warramunga of the title is a half Warramunga Sergeant Jack O’Brien, Jacko. Jacko is the best character because he’s an action hero that starts the book saving Captain James Munro’s day miraculously. Through that Jamie and Jacko form a bond that leads Jacko on adventures with Jamie. The book starts out in Lebanon in 1941 where Jacko saves Jamie’s life with a neat trick and then later carries Jamie to safety, thereby saving his life twice in a row. Because of that, Jamie selects Jacko to go with him to Cairo to work for MI6. There Jacko proves he has special skills that are useful to MI6 and Jamie that he has because he’s been raised a Warramunga. While this book is set during World War II, the only fighting set during the war is in the very beginning so the book should appeal to those who don’t usually read historical fiction books about war.
In Cairo, Jamie and Jacko rely on women for most of their information about German spies sending Rommel information about the Allies, but the female characters don’t feel very fleshed out. Mostly the women that are helping them do so because they have Jewish roots while the women that oppose them do so because they want to get rid of the monarchy in Egypt. Because of that, the book mentions men siding with the Germans who would go on to be prime ministers of Egypt, Sadat and Nasser.
I also like this book because it got me interested in the African front of World War II and showed how a few people can change the tide of war. The book also got me interested in the geography of Australia since there is a lot of travelling in the second half of the book. There is a mystery in the section of the story set in Cairo that is somewhat predictable, but it’s necessary to set up the back half of the book set in the Northern Territory and Western Australia and add suspense on whether the murdering and robbing gang of kidnappers can be defeated by the team put together by Jacko and Jamie. It’s clever of the author to tie the war and fighting Germans as the CIS to stopping a gang that is robbing, murdering and kidnapping their way through the Northern Territory and Western Australia and introducing Jacko’s sister, Sarah, to catch clues that Jacko misses. Jacko is good at being an action hero like Indiana Jones, but even he misses important clues so Sarah is necessary to finding the gang and the girls they have kidnapped. My only problem with that story line is that the girls aren’t given medical treatment at the first hospital after being rescued while a wounded male character is given treatment even though it isn’t life or death for him.
There are a few errors in the book, but they aren’t too distracting. I only found 4 errors. The first was on page 12. The second was an error several times on one page, 118, misspelling an Egyptian’s name. The third was getting the mount wrong on page 226. The final error was on page 228 and it was the wrong spelling of Jamie’s last name.
The first half of the book, set in Cairo during World War II, is a spy thriller and mystery, but it isn’t until the second half, set in Australia right after the war has ended, that the book really takes off and does an action packed western, which is even mentioned by a character hearing the story in the last pages. The second half really starts getting interesting once Jacko’s sister, Sarah, arrives to help Jacko and Jamie track down the bad guys. While travelling to go get the bad guys, Jamie reveals a hidden talent: songwriting for the guitar; the author helpfully includes sheet music for Jamie’s song. The only part of the story that isn’t necessary for this book is the love story between Jacko and Monique in Cairo, but I can see how that could become part of the story for the next book in the trilogy. Monique is included also to get the characters out of Cairo since Jacko meets her at the Giza Pyramids and the men visit her family outside of Cairo. The author makes Jamie and Jacko’s experiences so vivid for the reader because they come from his and his father’s experiences. I’m eager to read further adventures of Jacko, Jamie and Jacko’s sister, Sarah.
The Warramunga's War
View: on Bookshelves
Like cherieib's review? Post a comment saying so!