4 out of 4 stars
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The Warramunga’s War is a historical fiction novel by Greg Kater. The story follows two Australian soldiers, Jacko and Jamie, during the World War II era through Syria, Egypt, and the Australian outback. While in Egypt, Jacko and Jamie team up with MI6 and some local dancers to track down German agents; however, the mission takes an unexpected turn when they discover a serial killer is in their midst.
After serving in Egypt, Jamie and Jacko head to Darwin as agents of the Commonwealth Investigation Service (CIS). Officially, they are in pursuit of two Germans accused of war crimes. However, they discover that they are actually chasing down a large gang with a haunting reminder from their adventures in Egypt.
Jacko’s character is unlike any I have read about before. He is a native Australian, with a mother from the Aboriginal Warramunga tribe. His appearance helps him to fit in with the locals in Egypt, and his skills in the outback serve him well during the chase in the Australian wilderness. In addition to his interesting demographic background, Jacko is a well-developed character who brings humor and romance to the story.
My favorite part of the book is the exquisite detail that Greg Kater gives for each setting. During Jacko’s time in Egypt, he meets Monique, who gives him a tour of the Pyramids of Giza. This is a natural way for the author to bring in a captivating description of the pyramids, without deviating too much from the plot. Additionally, I greatly enjoyed reading a story about someone from Aboriginal Australia. So many of the World War II stories I have read take place in Europe, from the viewpoint of American or British soldiers. The Australian point of view was new and refreshing for me, and I enjoyed learning about how different regions like Egypt impacted the war effort.
I applaud the author for including characters that represent so many different backgrounds, including European, African, and Aboriginal. Normally, incorporating so many characters would be confusing, but Greg Kater does it in a way that adds to the excitement of the story, rather than distracting from it. This book does a fantastic job of recognizing diversity and the contributions of groups of people who are not often mentioned, without overtly using token characters.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction and travel. Additionally, I would recommend this book to high-school teachers for their students; the book is a quick read and does not have any parts that are too inappropriate for teenagers. The book can also serve as inspiration for young readers of color who are curious about historical contributions of groups like the Warramunga tribe.
The Warramunga's War
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