Skills of the Warramunga follows our well-known team on a mission to rescue an MI6 operative from bandits on the Malayan peninsula. How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?
My third book, Skills of the Warramunga, takes place in Malaya, where I have worked during my career throughout the country. After my first book, The Warramunga’s War, where most of the action takes place during the Second World War, my novels have dealt with the consequences in the aftermath of war. After of World War II, in Malaya many different groups, including communists, bandits, Nazis and others, were trying to gain control of all or part of the Malayan Peninsular from the British. The novel deals with the period when the British created the Malayan Union in April 1946. It showcases the extraordinary tracking skills of the Warramunga aborigines, which I witnessed first-hand during my time at Tennant Creek.
This is the last novel in your Warramunga Trilogy. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do with this set of novels?
Yes, I did. Firstly, I intended to show the effects of war in countries where I had worked and am familiar with. Secondly, I planned to include some of the weird and wonderful people whom I worked with over the years as characters in the novels (with changed names, of course) and to use them to entertain the readers. Thirdly, I wanted to show case the incredible skills of the Warramunga aborigines as I knew them years ago. I think I have achieved all that.
What draws you to the military suspense genre?
I was drawn to the military suspense genre, largely as I had a lot of research and data about the Second World War. My father and his brothers fought in that war, so I have quite a lot of information from them. The war was a violent but intensely interesting time.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
After completing the original trilogy, I decided that I couldn’t let the principal characters just fade away, so I set their next adventure in China in which I have worked extensively over the years.
Early in 1946, former army officer, Jamie Munro, and his half-Aboriginal friend and colleague, Jack ‘Jacko’ O’Brien, who head the Commonwealth Investigation Service in Darwin, are called on to assist in the rescue of Colonel John Cook, a senior operative of MI6, who has been kidnapped by bandits and taken into the jungles of Malaya.
Jamie and Jacko had worked in intelligence operations with Colonel Cook during the desert campaign in North Africa in the Second World War, as the Afrika Corps threatened Egypt.
With Jacko’s half-sister, Sarah, a full-blood Aborigine from Tennant Creek, they arrive in Kuala Lumpur to find that they not only have to contend with the impenetrable jungle of the Malay peninsula, but also with a murderous and subversive organisation of Fascist criminals whose aim is to disrupt the creation of the Malayan Union by the British Military Authority, set to take place on 1st of April 1946, foment an uprising and take over control of the country.
All the inherent bushcraft skills of the Warramunga are needed to rescue Colonel Cook as well as prevent catastrophic mayhem on the Malayan peninsula.
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This is the fourth book in the Warramunga series. We follow ex-army officer Jamie Munro, and his friend Jack O’Brien aka Jacko, an intelligent half aborigine as they go on a critical operation in Yangtze. Jamie Munro is his usual self. He is skilled, has a sharp eye and always ready to take risks. Jacko, on the other hand, is good at drawing plans and strategizing. The pair leads others as they head out to investigate and help stop an opium smuggling operation that is taking place around the Yangtze River.
The journey towards Yangtze River is risky. Not everyone supports Munro’s mission and this calls for attacks from criminals and other bad guys. Their junk boat gets attacked by bandits, the team gets shot at, and they sustain injuries and endure all forms or threats. Their grief does not end there as they encounter hostile people who constantly torment and harm them. They also come into contact with environmental hazards that slow their operations. Being the men they are, the two forge on with vigor. I like how they cooperated to finish set goals even when there were so many obstacles ahead of them.
Greg Kater is a deftly draws draws his characters, especially Jacko and Munro. It is great seeing how Jack can spot Munro’s weaknesses and vice versa. There can never be a Jamie Munro without Jacko. Colonel Cook was another great character. The man was not in action all the time but his wit and tactics came in handy. I enjoyed his conversations and loved every minute he held meetings with his people. Having Colonel Cook in charge meant that everyone was in capable hands.
Greg Kater has written an exciting military thriller that is packed with drama, intense action, perilous adventure, and peppered with some wild scenes. The plot thickens with every new move the main characters take. Reading Conflict on the Yangtze gives one the impression of being part of the action. I love the compelling the plot and the twists that kept me guessing. Fans of military action adventure stories will find plenty to love.
Pages: 362 | ASIN: B07TXR4MSF
Jack “Jacko” O’Brien and Jamie Munro have a challenging mission ahead of them. The two have been tasked with rescuing a top MI6 operative who has been taken hostage by a criminal gang. The operative’s name is Colonel John Cook. O’Brien and Munro go back in the day. They worked together on many missions and even captured targets together. They have extraordinary skills, given their experiences during World War II. The task at hand may seem simple, but the people involved in the rescue mission of Colonel Cook have to prepare for any danger they have to face in the jungles of Malaya, where Cook has been kidnapped.
Greg Kater takes you across the Malayan jungle and terrain as we follow Jacko and his friends as they go after a dangerous criminal organization. Reading about the tactics they use, how they strategize and how they deal with adversaries was a great experience. Even with the skills Jamie Munro possesses due to his service in the military, the journey to combat the criminal organization is not easy. The gangs are prepared to face Munro and his team. It is not just the men who are resourceful in this mission, Sarah, a full Aborigine from Tennant Creek, and also a half-sister to Jack Obrien helps the team on their mission.
The team’s time in Kuala Lumpur is adventurous. Wit and physical strength are essential for them to achieve their goals. Skills of the Warramunga is a compelling thriller that takes you through different exotic landscapes and treacherous terrain. You vividly experience every action on the ground through the author’s eloquent words. I like how the author introduced the conflict at the beginning of the book. The description gives one a back story and the context of the struggle. The urge to read more increases as the action in the plot intensifies.
Skills of the Warramunga is an edge of your seat thriller. The author is exceptional with plot pacing and character creation. The characters in the book are firm and fun to follow. I enjoyed their conversations and how they bonded over disputes and other issues. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy military thrillers and action stories.
Pages: 314 | ASIN: B07PJLLJXL
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Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord by Braxton Cosby begins with an intriguing and haunting scene. The protagonist, Steel Reign is expressing his regret over a massive mistake that he has made. Just from this singular scene, it is clear that he will go to any means to bring back his lost sister, Olia. She is aboard the ship Eclipse and involved in a treacherous game under the space pirate, Forge. Reign does not have the means or credits to find her. His sole plan to acquire an artifact and exchange it for credits has fallen through. He keeps having to devise Plan Bs to reach his sister. Along the way he manages to acquire a ragtag bunch of friends and colleagues: nerdy Gifford, the novice Stink, and Sereas. On top of these struggles, he is also combatting the deadly virus DX that has practically taken his eyes.
Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord manages to hold a quick-paced, thrilling tone, as Reign is thrown from one dangerous situation to another. The prologue also returns in a more meaningful way later in the story as Forge’s sick game becomes clearer.
Throughout the story, a lot of different species and creatures kept cropping up. At first it was a bit jarring and difficult to keep up with, but the descriptions were so fun that I couldn’t resist being drawn in anyway. Take for example the Donthras that are described as being “multi-sexual” and “open to trying anyone and anything” Although there was an underlying intense tone to the story, the moments of levity were perfectly captured and made me laugh out loud.
Reign himself isn’t infallible though- which I personally love in an action/adventure protagonist. So often they seem to fall prey to being all around superhumans (see: Jack Reacher, Stephanie Plum) but Reign knows his strengths and weaknesses. He even manages to acknowledge that he was the brawns in the sibling relationship and Olia the brains. The pair has had a difficult upbringing but share a very sweet and strong relationship. I felt immediately sympathetic and connected to Reign whenever he reminisced about his sister.
Steel Reign was a solidly entertaining novel- a strangely perfect amalgamation of science-fiction, revenge drama, and ensemble comedy. It hit all the right spots for me and was a great weekend read.
Pages: 337 | ASIN: B082S82S8P
Retired Detective Daril Cinquata gave decades to the Denver PD. He earned commendations, awards, and medals throughout his career. He meted out justice by arresting thousands of felons. He was a hard-working cop who played on the edge of legality to ensure that justice has been served. Even the best TV cops never play by the rules. His adherence to the law and commitment to the service for all was admirable and used as an example. However, not everyone liked his brand of justice. Many people would have liked to see him fail. This only worked to increase his thirst for justice.
The author plunges the reader into a fast-paced world of police work and the politics that lace the police force. You will get a first-hand account of actual events during Detective Cinquata’s service. You will get an insider’s look. This book is like being cast deep into an intense episode of NCIS where it is all action and tough-talking detectives. The narration is so vivid with clear descriptions and masterful settings that the reader will take a virtual walk through the precincts and have a bird’s eye view of crime scenes throughout the book. From the tone of the book and spirit that lurks within the pages, you can feel the passion that one man had for his work. You cannot help but admire his bravery. At the end of this book, not only will you greatly appreciate Detective Daril Cinquata but also have a newfound respect for any man in blue.
The way this story is told, with all the rough cuts and the gruff way only a cop can speak, you will feel like the author is narrating the story in person. He has done nothing to mask the true cop in him. There is a certain honesty in this book that is simply unmistakable. The story of this man’s life and the events throughout his career are told with absolute frankness and transparency. The events are corroborated by local news stories. So honest that he does not hide his imperfections either. He regales the reader with an embarrassing account of being caught pants down (or at least open). The author is not afraid to show his blemishes. He is not afraid to admit that he was scared at times, to reveal his vulnerabilities. This adds a layer of excitement and reality to this book. It lets the reader connect with the author and the story in a special way.
Rarely do we get to see an unairbrushed version of police work. The Blue Chameleon is simply a gem. Kudos for his enthusiasm and commitment to the job. Utmost gratitude for allowing an inside look into a decorated detective’s service and life in the force. The Blue Chameleon is definitely worth a read.
Pages: 322 | ASIN: B075BP3XXN
The Warramunga’s War is a book that follows the Australian Army’s advances in the Middle East and Egypt. The main character, Jamie, is saved by an officer Jacko, who’s half aborigine warramunga. The book leads the reader through an adventure with Jamie and Jacko in the forefront, as they conduct counterespionage and work with real historical figures. They form a close friendship and work together to solve various missions. During their stay in Cairo, Jack and Jamie manage to work against German spies and continue the war effort onto their home turf after their job is done in Egypt. Jacko’s skills come into play near the final leg of the duo’s journey, needing to track down two wartime German Agents in West Australia.
The author describes events in vivid detail throughout the book. Greg Kater ensures the reader is taken through an action filled adventure full of twists, turns, and suspense with lighthearted moments throughout to provide moments of respite. One of these moments was at the beginning, where Jamie was unconscious and had a humorous moment with Jacko and a French nurse. The author also shows ample character development with our duo, showing how they evolve both in strength of friendship and their synergy with each other. They grow as friends and evolve to become better soldiers as well, and this evolution was something that was consistently interesting to me. I felt the part where Jamie develops a romance with someone added depth and emotion to an already well developed character. They seem to gain some level of experience from who they work with as well. Speaking of those people, the author’s level of dedication to research shows as well, with many areas being accurately described. The people he represents in the book are true to their original character and accomplishments.
While I enjoyed the narrative and the characters, I felt that the pacing, was inconsistent and sometimes abrupt. There is a part in the book where we’re zoomed into the future, which threw me off. Other than that small issue, The Warramunga’s War is an amazing read which shows a lot of spirit and has a unique take on old events.
Pages: 324 | ASIN: B07NJZFVJX
Lluava has horrifying nightmares that keep her from resting. In those very real and vivid dreams, she feels she will surely meet with her own death. Life for Lluava is every bit as harrowing and challenging as the dreams that plague her. At the tender age of eighteen, Lluava is chasing Therimorphs and fighting the elements of winter. Her heightened senses are the only thing keeping her going. She feels, she thinks, and she sees much more deeply than any other human. To complicate matters, her dual form isn’t exactly in her favor. Lluava seems to have everything and everyone against her.
Crocotta’s Hackles, by Katharine Wibell, is the third book in the Incarn series. With a complex plot spanning the series, Wibell offers readers yet another peek into Lluava’s life. Hers is a dual world; she lives two very different lives and struggles to maintain a solid balance between the two. When she and Apex find themselves in the middle of Leucrocotta, and isolated Theriomorph civilization, they are both overwhelmed with the possibilities that there may be others like it.
This fantasy adventure by Wibell breaks into areas seemingly unexplored by other novels in the same genre. The dual forms experienced by the main characters make for a truly interesting reading experience. Wibell’s characters are thoroughly developed and even secondary characters are given engaging scenes and dialogue that makes them easy to visualize. Truth be told, I am as taken with Wibell’s secondary characters as I am her cast of primary players. There is just something about the way she introduces each character to the plot that makes them easy to visualize.
One of the most enthralling aspects of Wibell’s novel is the point of view provided readers as they watch Lluava function in her dual form. It is a unique perspective and gives readers the opportunity to see her operate as an animal as she voices her thoughts as a human. Not many authors are able to pull this type of character development off without losing readers’ interest, but Wibell has written well-rounded characters and kept amazing consistency from one book to the next in this saga.
The gods, as described in Crocotta’s Hackles, are quite the entities. I am not always intrigued by books that have a mythical feel, but Crocotta’s Hackles portrays gods as less than holy and much more meddlesome and vengeful. This, in and of itself, makes Crocotta’s Hackles an engaging read. The havoc they wreak on Lluava’s life is no small part of the book’s plot and makes the main character’s predicament all the more challenging.
Fans of the fantasy genre will find Wibell’s work a welcome change to the vast majority of books currently available. A far as the saga itself goes, Crocotta’s Hackles is the most intensely focused of the three books. Readers who choose to explore Lluava’s dual worlds will not be disappointed.
Pages: 320 | ASIN: B07L1DLXBD