A story of two men of the same nationality but of different cultures
The Warramunga’s War
By Greg Kater
Greg Kater’s The Warramunga’s War follows the story of two Australian army personnel, Lieutenant James “Jamie” Munro and Corporal Jack “Jacko” O’Brien. The two first met in 1941 during a military operation in Syria. Since then, they became buddies in the succeeding assignments. After their stint in Syria, the two were transferred to a new detachment in Egypt where they were tasked to do some espionage work for the Allied forces during the Second World War.
In Egypt, Jamie and Jacko team up with one more Australian military man, Matt MacAulay. The three of them work under the leadership of British Captain Johnny Cook. The team’s stint in Egypt is eventful, in the sense that they discover a lot of things about the country and the varied nationalities staying there. One of the notable events that bother the agents is the series of individual murder cases, which is not supposed to be related to their work.
The war eventually ends with the Allied Forces winning, partially because of the agents’ successful work behind the front line. The mystery of the individual murder cases is also uncovered after a wife of a British military officer dies.
After the war, the team is dissolved. But James Munro and Jack O’Brien are given one more assignment together. Their next mission brings them back to their country of origin, Australia. The partners’ new assignment leads them in a direction different from what they had been in the Middle East. This time it’s an adventure in Australia’s wild countryside.
It is during the Australian mission that James and Jacko discover something more than armed warfare. They learn more about each other, friendship, and kindness along the way. More significantly, they discover more about Matt, their former teammate in the Egypt mission.
Greg Kater is a commendable writer. In The Warramunga’s War, I see an experienced story-teller, despite the author’s claim that this is his first work of fiction. He has, indeed, done a thorough research on history. He’s adept at incorporating fictitious characters into real-life events and people. The author brings the reader right into the heart of the military activities behind the front line as he makes detailed and vivid descriptions of the places and events. I was not yet born during World War II, but I felt I was transported back in time to “witness” how the war was going during that period in the Middle East. Kater also gives a glimpse of the Aborigines’ culture, which makes the story more exciting. He aptly titles the book The Warramunga’s War for a remarkable reason. It’s the first installment of a trilogy. I have to read the second and third installments, though.
When it comes to the story and plot, I should say The Warramunga’s War is excellent. I just noticed at least two typographical errors, which are actually negligible and don’t affect the entire content of the book. But, the proofreaders and the editor should look into these errors for future reproduction of The Warramunga’s War. Despite this imperfection, I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
I recommend The Warramunga’s War to readers 15 years old and above. Even people who are not fond of war stories should consider reading this book. It’s not as bloody as what you might think it is, but there is something that you might be interested to know about the Warramunga.
I’ve already read and reviewed the second installment of Greg Kater’s trilogy. Please read my review of The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War, to guide you in buying the book. Both the first and second volumes of Kater’s books are excellent gift material for Christmas.