From the first page of "Rare Earth," by Davis Bunn*, I was drawn into the tension and intrigue as Marc Royce begins his assignment in Kenya, where he was sent by his employer, Lodestone Associates. Lodestone was a major provider of armed security services around the world. In Kenya, Lodestone was supplementing UN security details, also providing Medevac helicopters, field hospitals, and personnel. It recently had added a new division that provided emergency relief supplies. The U.S. State Department was receiving information that someone at a very high level of power was providing extremely profitable supply contracts to a corporate ally in return for kickbacks. But now things were heating up. The State Department was receiving rumors that Lodestone was up to something far worse. Marc was undercover in Kenya as a field agent for Lodestone, but in actuality he was a covert op for State Department Intel. Action and danger was expected by Marc when he entered Kenya. What he did not expect was that he would become so personally involved with the people whose land had been stolen and who barely survived in the squalor and chaos of the refugee camps. And he certainly didn't expect to become involved with the cause of the lovely Messianic Jew, who was an aid worker at the Red Cross camp. This is a wonderful story of how Marc Royce, a group of displaced Christian tribes in Kenya, and a kibbutz of persecuted Messianic Jews in Israel, work together toward a common goal of bringing justice and finding a place that can be called "home."
Once again Davis Bunn made his characters jump to life from the pages of the book. He provides just the right amount of detail and description to draw you into the story, all the while building layers of suspense and action. As badly as I wanted to know how the story ended, I was sorry to finally reach the end. I really liked these characters and wanted the story to somehow carry on. It seems that Davis Bunn always has a great story to write. I look forward to his next one.
*This book was received free through Bethany House Book Reviewers in exchange for my unbiased review.
For some strange reason Marc Royce, accountant, is being flown by helicopter into Kenya where the area is torn violently by the eruption of a volcano and the refugee camps filled with people who have been evicted from their traditional lands. One wonders why an accountant would be positioned in such an eruptive political situation.
We soon discover that Marc Royce is not a meek accountant but is in reality an undercover agent. His assignment is to rout out what is really going on with the displacement of so many tribal Africans. And, too, the kidnapping of a key international individual.
Author Davis Bunn has traveled extensively and his travels and gift for description enable him to draw vivid word pictures of sun rise and set, of dry parched land, and of hungry displaced refuges. Vivid descriptions of a volcano spewing forth ash and fire are set forth on the pages of Rare Earth. Not only has Bunn painted glorious word pictures of the scenes, he has drafted a multi-talented character in Marc Royce. A man of a quiet spirit and yet he can erupt with the fierceness of a volcano to fight mightily against wrong. He is a man of many strengths. He becomes the warrior the refugees need and he is the man that has a gentle soft side that appeals to the "leading lady."
Rare Earth is intensely written and filled with action packed scenes that will appeal immensely to the male reader. Marc Royce's strength and agility and degree of focus are not that of a "normal" man but that of a trained warrior. The story is one of international intrigue, and you won't know until near the very end just who the rogue players are.
For fun I recommend you research "rare earths" on the internet and see just what Bunn is writing about in his book. It is truly a front page story.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of writing an honest review of my opinion of Rare Earth. No compensation was provided and all opinions expressed are my own.
Rare Earth by Davis Bunn is a story that moves quite quick in some places, and slow in others. But it is all-in-all a good story if you give yourself time to get into it.
On page one we meet Marc Royce, a man who has come to Africa to investigate some possible corruption in a relief organization. A man has been kidnapped, and the company Marc works for is suspected of doing the crime. Marc expected to simply come to Kenya to get answers for his company and possibly to find some for himself as well. He never planned on becoming a vital piece in a puzzle that is only now unfolding.
Tribes are being removed from their ancestral lands and sent to city slums for no apparent reason. They are promised new land, but it never materializes. Now, as the crisis grows, the elders begin to look to an unlikely hero for help-- Marc Royce.
In the midst of it all, Marc finds himself being drawn to the kidnapped man's sister, a nurse at the refugee camp where he is staying. She is a woman of many secrets, and Marc slowly begins to realize that her knowledge may be one of the keys to uncovering the reason for the tribes' displacement.
As I said at the beginning of the review, this book is slow-paced part of the time. Although the characters and setting are interesting, they did not draw me in quite as much as I would have liked. I still feel that the book was definitely not a waste of my time. It was only after I read the book that I found out that it is the second in the Marc Royce series. I think that maybe if I had read book one, Lion of Babylon, first, I might have been able to understand Marc a little better. So for those reading the Marc Royce series, I would definitely say that Rare Earth is worth reading.
If you liked Davis Bunn's novel Lion of Babylon I think you will also like Rare Earth. Marc Royce's newest assignment is located in Kenya, Africa, where a recent earthquake and volcano eruption have caused widespread suffering. He is there officially as an accountant, but as he gains the trust of the leaders of the refugee camps, the reader sees his true mission clearer--to find the source of the underlying corruption.
The writing is excellent and the story is one that could have been read in your morning paper or seen on the morning news. Full of mystery, suspense, espionage, corruption, and even a little romance. This book captured my attention right from the first page to the last. I was excited to see Rare Earth being offered to review, because I had previously read Lion of Babylon, but this book does well as a stand-alone too. I am hoping that there will be at least one more book featuring Marc Royce.