Book Review of Rare Earth by Davis Bunn, and another Giveaway

As promised last week, I have another review of a book by Davis Bunn today. He released two books with two different publishers all this month, so the web is buzzing about him.

I’m extending the deadline for entry in last week’s giveaway to next week, so watch for a post on Wednesday, July 25 to see if your name is the winner.

See the end of this post for another giveaway.

From the back of the book- Rare Earth
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.

Watch the Book Trailer
My Review
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 Giveaway
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.

Posted in Books & Resources.


  1. I read his book, One Shendendoah Winter and really liked it. One scene that stands out is near the end of the story, one of the main characters dies from cancer and church members stand outside his house singing hymns and sing him Home.

  2. This past January my son, then 19, did something stupid with one of his friends and he now is in jail awaiting sentencing because I refuse to bail him out. It has been a process but immediately following the incident I heard on the police radio (I too am an officer) a pursuit of a car fitting my son's car. I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and prayed for his safety, they were doing 120 mph. God is gracious and my son pulled over without incident. Now I continue to pray for him and the Lord has worked his way back into my son's heart making him a strong Christian and he is helping others find Jesus while in prison. Praise the Lord!

  3. A time I was thrust into a situation was four years ago. My husband and I homeschooled 6 of our 8 children and in a literal fit of anger, our second oldest son and his girlfriend at the time coerced my brother-in-law and sister-in-law into calling social services and the local law enforcement telling them we had no food in the house for the children and that we were having our 15 year old daughter school her siblings. This was simply NOT true and it was discovered that there were indeed no grounds for the call. That night our son ran away from home; he was 17 years old. We called the police who picked him up at the girlfriend's home and escorted him, hand cuffed and in a patrol car, to the police station for us to pick up. The next day was intense, but we laid down some grounds rules, prayed around our dining room table with all our children and the Lord resolved it all!

  4. The first Davis Bunn book I ever read, and it's STILL my favorite (for now!), was "All Through the Night"! Being from Florida, I could totally relate to the areas that were the setting for this awesome book!

  5. Just read Hidden in Dreams by Davis and found the book riveting. Would love a chance for Rare Earth.

    I did a youth rally and the electrical wouldn't work. We called one of the ladies' friends and he came last minute to fix our problem. We had so many issues bec the speaker cancelled two weeks beforehand, but I wanted to continue pursuing the program as the message was too important to give up. It was total success thank to the Lord!

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. Great review Michelle:) I would love to have my name entered in the giveaway.
    Here's my answers:
    1. Last year I was tossed into uncertainty when our 2 teenagers had a bad bicycle accident…then were both rushed to hospital with concussion and moderate head trauma. I cried lots and we prayed our way through the whole thing, knowing that's the only thing I could do. That was the most difficult part is realizing I didn't have control over the situation:( I guess I learned quickly to give it to God. We're so thankful, a year later that both children have healed well and have no lasting injuries.
    2. Another Davis Bunn book I've read is "Lion of Babylon"…loved the book! I love suspense and Davis Bunn is good at it:)
    3. I twittered this post:)

    Thanks for entering my name for a chance to win!

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  7. I think the first Davis Bunn book I read was "Florian's Gate." We were missionaries in Hong Kong, and the ship Doulos came to town. We were always "starved" for good Christian books in English to read, and we picked up "Florian's Gate" at the book sale on the Doulos. (This was about 25 years ago.) I was hooked, and then had to find the other two books in the series! Since then I think we've read every book Davis has written, and have most in our library to share with friends and re-read when we've forgotten enough of the plot. 🙂
    Margaret Nelson
    jnelson at skyhighway dot com

  8. Thanks for this free book. I just received it last week and already read it. I enjoyed it so am now rereading your review to see what you thought. It's really good but you can definitely tell it was written by a man. Thanks again.

Comments are closed.