4 out of 4 stars
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The Warramunga’s War by Greg Kater
The Warramunga’s War is a book that reads fairly well, if one ignores the French words and phrases that pop up every once in a while. This is a bit of a surprise considering it is Greg Kater’s first novel. There is a nice kind of balance to the reading, as at no time does Mr. Kater try to overdo or do too much. I was a bit skeptical about the war part of the novel; however my fears were mostly unfounded. Same with the spy part, the novel never goes too technical, just the right amount, to allow a good flow.
Interestingly, there is a nice dose of humour interspersed throughout the book. The comic relief breaks in nicely from time to time. The pacing of this book is like the reading, as it moves along quite effortlessly. Greg Kater’s writing style is quite simple in a brusque way, which is not offensive, but rather quaint. The writing ends up flowing along in a natural rhythm. The characterization as with the overall creative mood of this novel is innocuously done. Jamie and Jacko (who has Warramunga ancestry) are the main protagonists and are likable.
The characterization simply supports the story and does no more. The characters to a large extent are somewhat forgettable, which ordinarily should have been a minus, however this is not so, as the characters nicely support the plotting. They do their bit and fade out though somehow enriching the story.
Location wise, Egypt is always a nice setting for any story because of its ancient history and tourist attractions. In the second half of the novel, the scene setting moves to Australia; we are almost given a working tour here. Greg Kater does not depend much on the sights and sounds to help his story. Neither does he take too much nor more than is adequate from the war period time of the story; rather, summary of events during the war are chronicled in a diary-like way.
However, this is a wartime spy thriller; action scenes are served, but in measured doses. A mini-theme explored was that of war widows. I found it sad that widows of Officers would be stranded in combat locations during the war. For a war thriller, there is also a fair amount of romance in this story, lots of boy meets girl and matchmaking. The romance which pops up intermittently really helps to soften the overall mood, which is good. There are also some quite unexpected twists and a few turns.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, which is truly well and deservedly earned. The book is well-edited and has almost no errors to speak of. This novel is recommended to any and everyone who enjoys a good read.
The Warramunga's War
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