4 out of 4 stars
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Kaiserjaeger by Ronald McQueen, is categorized under the genre of fiction books and is the second part of a trilogy series. The book targets a young adult audience and is a captivating read that is packed full of jaw-dropping and spine-tingling actions and surprises. Children and older folks will also be enthralled by this page-turner. The stories are inspired by events that happened during the end of the Second World War or World War 2. The area of focus is Austria, and the story depicts the Emperor’s elite troops aka the Kaiserjaeger, on a mission to fight the enemy in the mountains. The book promotes loyalty, bravery, and teamwork.
Austrian Archbishop Franz Ferdinand and his wife have been assassinated. Serbia is the suspect, and there are talks of reprisals, however, as Russia considers itself to be Serbia’s protector, this could pose a problem for Austria. An attack on Serbia may also incite Germany to become involved. War is imminent, therefore, a group of men from various surroundings has gathered to be trained to fight this battle. Included among this regiment, is August Thaller, the skillful mountain-climber, and sharpshooter, and Andrei, a country boy from the Cossacks in Russia. He is on the run for being a suspect in a shooting in Sarajevo, and has decided to seek refuge in Austria. Another key player in this fight is Harald who is accused of an indiscretion. He is the personal secretary to the distinguished Maximillian von Gutschien who is a very important figure in the governing body of Austria-Hungary. Preparations are underway for the war, however, unbeknownst to the men, other looming and deadly surprises await them in the mountains. Will they be able to survive these surprises and will Austria succeed in the battle against its foes?
The author's life has been touched by the events of World War 2 as his parents’ paths became intertwined during that time. Recapturing the events and having them penned in this story has, therefore, become a personal part of his journey. Using dialogue and action, he has craftily stunned his readers with vivid sceneries of a war in progress. His prose is crisp; clear, and exuberant, and he has certainly introduced much pathos and ethos to the entire story. He narrates in the third person and the mood he has utilized throughout the passage is revenge.
I have enjoyed the way how the author has developed the characters, especially that of Andrei. He is to be greatly admired because he starts out as a country boy from the Cossacks in Russia then becomes trained in the military in Bosnia. He is, however, framed as a killer in that country but courageously escapes with his friend Nikolai to safety. He afterward joins the Kaiserjaeger, fighting to avenge Austria.
I know that this is a book on war, therefore, scenes of death and destruction must be anticipated, however, these are the parts that I do not enjoy about the story. Because these scenes are expected, I will not allow it to detract from giving this book a 4 out of 4 stars rating. Also, I have not spotted many errors, therefore, this has influenced my decision in awarding this rating.
This book will appeal to persons who are interested in the military and those who enjoy action stories. However, persons who have undergone many traumas in their lives are cautioned against reading this book.
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