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.
But this time, Royce may have gone too far.
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I like Davis Bunn’s suspense novels because they include tension and action without unnecessary violence. He also proves that a book can be awesome without main characters who kill without good reason, swear for the sake of it, and justify crime. Yet, he doesn’t sacrifice the excitement of a well developed suspenseful plot. I give him an A+ for this.
Rare Earth is a continuation from Lion of Babylon, but readers who haven’t read that book will have no trouble understanding this one. Lead Character Marc Royce begins with a new assignment and almost all of the characters are new, so it’s really a new book, with the character being the only tie-in that makes it part of a series.
I like how Bunn takes his time in revealing to the reader what the story is really about. I like how he sets up tension, keeps the reader guessing who can be trusted, and keeps the suspense going right up to the end. The book wraps up in a way that leaves room for more in the series.
I loved most of the book, but in the middle, I had a hard time following. Action slowed a little and there were a lot of characters to follow, so I couldn’t read with any distractions. In a few places I had to look back to try to remember who a character was, and how he or she fit in the overall scheme. I do like how main character Marc Royce is more humble in this book than in the last one, and he works together more with locals, rather than just leaping in like the big hero from the US. There is one other thing that stood out for me. The plot involves people from several nations, and there is one country ( I won’t give it away) that is a classic “bad guy” all the way through, and I was waiting for some redeeming quality, or someone to defect to the good side, but that never came.
I really liked this action-packed thriller, and I think both men and women will like it. Bunn is good with description, so as a female, I enjoyed that. I think my husband would appreciate the action. So it’s a good combo.
Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, and I recommend this and the first book in the series to readers who like gripping suspense.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
The publisher has generously offered a free copy of this book to one of my readers. To enter your name in the drawing up to three times, simply do the following:
In the book, Marc Royce is thrust into an unknown situation without much preparation. In the comments below, describe a time when you were tossed into a situation that left you feeling vulnerable or uncertain. How did you respond? What made it difficult?
For a second entry, tell me about another Davis Bunn book you have read.
For a third entry, post a link to this blog post on facebook or twitter and then comment that you did it.
On August 1, I’ll use a random number generator to choose one winner from the comments you leave ( I assign a number for each of the 3 things above, in the order of your posting).
Make sure that you subscribe to my blog feed by e-mail (see the subscribe box in the sidebar if you aren’t already a subscriber) so you see the post when I name the winner. The winner will have 3 days to respond to me by e-mail with a postal mailing address and a book will be shipped directly from the publisher.