I don’t often write book reviews. My reasons might seem a little crazy. Frequently I become so engrossed with the characters that they feel like friends and talking about them feels so gossipy. I don’t want to betray their secrets. I want them to come back and share another episode of their life story.
The second reason I don’t write reviews is the spoil factor. I hate it when a book reviewer tells the whole plot, even the resolution of the story, before I’ve read the book. I want to be surprised. I want to try to solve the mystery on my own, alongside the protagonist. I want to be the armchair quarterback.
So, in my review of Davis Bunn’s book Rare Earth, I want to be clear that I will give you a sneak peak at how the book ends, nor will I betray what happens to Marc Royce, the hero of this book and Lion of Babylon. By the way, you don’t need to have read Marc’s first book to enjoy this one, but you may wish to read it because it is such a wonderful story, ripped from current events in the Middle East.
Davis has done it again with Rare Earth, brought real life-characters to life, given them enough mystery to keep the pages turning, emotions that everyone can identify with, and a quick-moving plot that propels them from a volcanic region of Kenya, to refugee slums, to an Israeli kibbutz.
Setting seems as important as characters to this author, and his descriptions are so rich the reader can feel the grit of volcanic ash, and the smells and squalor of a desert camp. The book begins:
Marc Royce stares out of the helicopter, a sense of foreboding rising with the volcanic cloud. Below, the Rift Valley slashes across Africa like a scar. Decades of conflicts, droughts, and natural disasters have left their mark. Dispatched to audit a relief organization, Royce is thrust into the squalor and chaos of Kenyan refugee camps. But his true mission focuses on the area’s reserves of once-obscure minerals now indispensable to high-tech industries. These strategic elements— called rare earth—have inflamed tensions on the world’s stage and stoked tribal rivalries. As Royce prepares to report back to Washington, he seizes on a bold and risky venture for restoring justice to this troubled land.
Marc Royce is more than a man with a problem. He finds himself about as far as one can get from civilization, and that seems characteristic of his life. As Davis explains, “ He sees himself as the ultimate outsider, wounded by the loss of his wife, searching for a place he can call home, and an ideal worth living for—or giving his life for.”
Marc is not the only person who has lost his sense of home. The story also speaks to the plight of refugees displaced by natural disaster, greed and politics. The strength and beauty of spirit of the African people is well-represented in the indigenous characters.
Davis’ books never disappoint. See for yourself what a treat awaits for you when you read Davis Bunn’s Rare Earth.
Link to YouTube book trailer:
ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-0-7642-0906-2
$14.99; 368 pp
ISBN (Hardcover): 978-0-7642-1017-4
$22.99; 368 pp
Also available in the following formats:
Audio Book, MP3
Release: July 1, 2012 from Bethany House Publishers
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review, but it is an honor to do so. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.