4 out of 4 stars
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The Warramunga’s War, a novel written by Greg Kater, successfully captivates and pulls the reader into a tale of war, love, and espionage, creating a surreal historical narrative taking place within World War II. Within the novel, Jacko O’Brien, an Australian Warramunga Aboriginal soldier, saves the life of wounded Jamie Munroe, another Australian soldier, during the battle in Vichy France during World War II. As a result of this, both Jamie and Jacko are relocated to Cairo, Egypt to recover from their war wounds, and there they form a strong friendship. During their time in Cairo, Jamie and Jacko become enlisted by MI6 and British military forces to help track down and apprehend German spies in Egypt. What ensues is a suspenseful and mysterious adventure that definitely has readers hanging at the edge of their seats!
The story itself takes place in Cairo for the first part of the novel, and then takes place in the Australian bush for the second part of the novel. As a reader, I find that descriptions of the setting or environment that the novel takes place in is crucial to setting the scene and ambiance for a novel, and really hooks a reader into a book. I’m extremely happy to say that Greg Kater did an amazing job beautifully describing both the lovely streets of Cairo, guiding the reader through the Nile riverbanks and the busy Cairo cafe’s, as well as the glorious setting of the Australian bush. His descriptions definitely helped paint scenematic scenes within my mind as I was reading the book, which really helped me understand and immerse myself within the novel.
Another thing that I found the author did very well was his cultural research. I learned a lot about the Australian Warramunga Aboriginals, as well as other Aboriginal peoples in Australia, whilst reading this novel. It was very helpful and nice to learn about the Warramunga cultural practices, beliefs, and values, and I think the author did a great job in educating the readers. Egyptian culture was also showcased throughout the novel, and I found myself enthralled by both descriptions of Warramunga and Egyptian culture, so that was very lovely.
The novel also showcased a variety of very well developed and dynamic characters! Jacko was especially my favourite as I enjoyed his humour, optimism, intellect and intuition immensely, as well as his camaraderie with Jamie. The novel also had many strong female characters that added lots of flair and humour to suspenseful situations.
The story, although fiction, becomes interwoven into actual historical events happening during the time period of World War II, and I found this way of storytelling super compelling and interesting. The author made his story feel very real, despite his characters and plot being fictitious. The way the story was told brought excitement into historical fiction, in my opinion.
I was initially concerned that I would find the war terminology within this novel dull, boring, or confusing, as I knew that this was a World War II historical fiction novel, however this wasn’t the case at all. The novel was balanced and introduced a multitude of themes that weren’t just heavy combat war related. I actually found the dialogue very interesting, and the war terminology didn’t bore me at all.
Some minor critiques I have of this novel would be that some of the time skips were either too fast and sudden or too slow, so I wish there was a balance between the two in order to prevent dullness and confusion and provide a smoother timeline transition.
Overall, The Warramunga’s War by Greg Kater was a lovely read, and I rate it a 4 out of 4 stars. It was a very interesting tale of mystery, war, and love, and was suspenseful and enthralling! The characters were realistic and well developed, and the imagery created by the author further elevated the novel. I did find some minor formatting errors within the book but they weren’t too numerous. It is important to note that there are some scenes and mentions of violence and sexual violence, so readers who are sensitive to this subject matter should know this prior to reading the book.
The Warramunga's War
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