skill of the warramunga

The war is over but the peace has not begun...

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 another colleague, Colonel John Cook, a senior operative of MI6 who has been kidnapped by bandits and taken into the jungles of Malaya.


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 aiming to disrupt the creation of the Malayan Union by the British Military Authority, foment an uprising and take over control of the country.


All the bushcraft skills of the Warramunga are needed to rescue Colonel Cook and prevent catastrophic mayhem on the Malayan peninsula. 

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Official Online Book Club review

"There was never a dull moment in this action-packed historical adventure, and I found it hard to put down."

International Review of Books

Character Development: 5 out of 5 

Plot Development: 5 out of 5 

Flow of Plot: 5 out of 5

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

Reviewed By: Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite

"Greg Kater is a great storyteller... the prose is gorgeous... a hard to put down military thriller."

 Review Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

"Reading the three books of the Warramunga series in such a short space of time has been a fantastic experience. I hope there will be more in the future as this intriguing setting on the other side of the world has really opened up post-war history for me in a brand new way."

Review 1

Official Online Book Club Review; by Cecilia L.

Skills of the Warramunga is the third book in the Warramunga Trilogy by author Greg Kater. Set in 1946 Malaya, the plot of this intriguing historical fiction includes kidnapping, theft, and murder. 

When the MI6 head of operations,
Colonel Johnny Cook is kidnapped by
bandits and held captive in the
jungles of Malaya, his Australian
colleagues make it their mission to
rescue him. The three men had
previously worked together running an intelligence operation in Cairo, in 1941. Jamie Munro is a former army officer, and he and his friend Jack O'Brien, who is half-Aboriginal, now head Darwin's Commonwealth Investigation Service. As they head to rescue Johnny, they are joined by Sarah, Jacko's half-sister, who is a Warramunga Aboriginal and a skilled tracker. 


Meanwhile, there's been two murders and a robbery at the tin mine near Parit. The whereabouts of the mysterious Pieter de Groote, who reported the crime and is now a suspect, remain unknown. With the increase in recent assaults and burglaries, local law enforcement fears the crimes may be related to rumors about a criminal organization seeking to disrupt the upcoming Malayan Union ceremony. When it's learned that Johnny Cook was kidnapped because he was mistaken for one of the new government administration members, Colonel Samuel Martin, the plot thickens. 


There was never a dull moment in this action-packed historical adventure, and I found it hard to put down. As I haven't read the other books in the trilogy, I wondered if the book would stand on its own--it did. The plot was well- written, and the author also intertwined pertinent details from the previous books, The Warramunga's War and The Warramunga's Aftermath of War. Though I usually prefer to read a series in order, this book piqued my interest enough that it's likely I'll go back and read the first two.


The plot is supported by a diverse cast of well-developed characters. I particularly enjoyed the way the author brought his characters to life through the use of their native dialects. Not only could I hear the Aussie and British accents as I read; I was introduced to new vocabulary from different languages, too. I also appreciated the author's occasional use of humor in the story. 


The only thing I would change in this book is the use of one word, "lubra." The word is used to introduce Sarah, and by definition, it refers to a female Aboriginal Australian. However, when I looked up the unfamiliar word, I learned that it is considered racially offensive. It's likely the word wasn't offensive in 1946, but it bears noting. 


It's evident the book was professionally edited, as I didn't note a single error. I'm pleased to rate this page-turner 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction and action adventures. However, the book would appeal to a broader audience as well. The plot-related violence was not graphic, and there wasn't any profanity. 

Review 2

The International Review of Books

Kathy Denver; Reviews Editor, 

Goodreads and Evil Cyclist's Bookshelf blog  (evilcyclist.wordpress.com)

Skills of the Warramunga by Greg Kater is the third book in the Warramunga series although it is more than fine as a stand-alone novel.  The story takes place in Malaysia in 1946 immediately preceding the Malayan Union. Kater captures the turmoil of the region shortly after the Second World War.  Some areas saw the expulsion of the British by the Japanese as liberation, but others were disappointed by the ease that the Japanese defeated the British forces.  Some did not welcome the return of the British after the war. Britain hoped for a peaceful return to the administration of the region while MI6 worried about communist agitation from the Chinese. However, something more nefarious is brewing.


MI6 Colonel John Cook is kidnapped in the jungles on Malaysia and held captive.  Word of his captivity reaches Jamie Munro of the Australian Commonwealth Investigative Service, and he springs into action with Jack O’Brien (Jacko).  Both men served under the colonel in the Syrian campaign a few years ago. Jacko, who is half aboriginal, enlists the help of his full aboriginal half-sister, Sarah, to aid in the jungle tracking and in locating the colonel.  The rescue of their friend and former commander, however, is just the beginning of the story.


Kater fully develops the good guys’ characters in a smooth and even way for readers who have not read the other books in the series.  The bad guys remain mysterious with just enough information to produce a villainous shadow. The post-war era, Kuala Lumpur, and the jungle are captured brilliantly.  The historical fiction presented will not disappoint the historian and the flow of the novel will not disappoint the adventure reader. 

Extremely well done.



Review 3

Reviewed By: Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite

 

Skills of the Warramunga by Greg Kater is a gritty tale of espionage, a rescue mission with untold challenges, featuring likeable characters. Jack “Jacko” O’Brien and Jamie Munro are charged with the difficult task of rescuing Colonel John Cook, a senior MI6 operative kidnapped by an unknown, dangerous group in the jungles of Malaya. While they have unusual skills in the army and have a long history working together during WWII, they are about to be tested by challenges they never envisioned, including the harsh terrain, the fascist criminal organization which is about to thwart the creation of the Malayan Union by the British Military Authority. To succeed in this mission they will have to rely on the unique skills of the Warramunga to prevent the worst from happening. 


Greg Kater is a great storyteller and readers are introduced to the conflict from the very start of the novel. John Cook is taken by the bad Chinese guys and readers become intrigued, interested to learn what happens to him next as they follow them through dangerous lands. Yes, the action begins from the very start of the narrative and only grows in intensity. The story is emotionally rich, with twists no one could predict and tight spots that will have readers on the edge of their seats. The prose is gorgeous and I enjoyed the author’s ability to paint vivid images of the landscape and create a direct link between the environment and the characters. Skills of the Warramunga is character driven, but the focus on conflict and the skillful handling of plot make it a 'hard to put down' military thriller. 

Review 4

Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Skills of the Warramunga is another fantastic work of mysterious historical fiction by author Greg Kater, and the third book in the series following Jamie Munro and ‘the Warramunga’, Jacko O’Brien. In this installment, we join our CIS investigators less than two years after the end of the Second World War, when a new mission takes them to the dense jungles of Malaya. Colonel John Cook, a senior operative working for MI6, whom Jamie and Jacko knew during the war, has gone missing out there. Emotional ties abound in this new adventure as Jacko’s full-blood Aboriginal sister, Sarah, comes along to put new skills to the test in searching for their fallen comrade.


Reading the three books of the Warramunga series in such a short space of time has been a fantastic experience. I hope there will be more in the future as this intriguing setting on the other side of the world has really opened up post-war history for me in a brand new way. Greg Kater writes with a clearly well-researched style, but his description and dialogue are never dull because of it. The heat of the jungle and the dangers of Kuala Lumpur in 1946 come to life in such an incredibly vivid way, and I really enjoyed the inclusion of Sarah as a main component to the plot. Culturally, we learn even more about Jacko and their tribe because of it, and it brings fantastic drama to the story as a whole. Skills of the Warramunga is a novel not to be missed.