3 out of 4 stars
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Conflict on the Yangtze, by Greg Kater, is a historical fiction set in China during 1946, just after the Japanese occupation. In the story, Jacko and Jamie, two Australian CIS agents, are sent up the Yangtze River, to eliminate an opium operation. As they make their way to China, and travel up and down the Yangtze, more characters are introduced and more threats begin to unfold. Working their way further into the operation, Jacko and Jamie come to learn the threat may be further reaching, and closer to home, than they expected.
Even though Jacko and Jamie are on a dangerous mission, the mood always seems to be light. Conflict on the Yangtze is a fast-paced, compelling story that trades brute strength for stamina and intelligence. It is not filled with page-to-page gun battles, but rather cunning intellect and guerrilla tactics. With their experience in the outback, and Jacko's quick-wit, they are able to navigate obstacles and maintain sharpness in and unfamiliar, volatile terrain.
I would recommend this book to an audience that enjoys adventures and war novels. Even though the story takes place after the war, it gives readers a glimpse into a still broken world, repairing itself from the destruction and chaos of war. The author allows time for the characters to discuss the impact of the Japanese occupation, and the repercussions, as the dust settles.
I enjoyed how the author was always able to keep the story in motion, and myself, the reader, in anticipation. Just when it started to feel like the plot was resolving, the author brought the pace back up. It made the book fun and easy to read. I also enjoyed how the author takes the time to set the scene for the readers. Using the characters as tour guides, discussing the area, and the impact of the war on various places they visited. It acts to draw a picture for the reader, allowing more depth to the story-line. I did struggle with the dialog, though, I am not sure if it was meant to be reflective of the time period, but, for me it came across as choppy and lackluster.
I would rate this book a 3 out of 4, as it is a thrilling, action-adventure that was able to maintain interest throughout. Even during the slower parts of the book, the author was able to keep the story engaging. I do not feel like the book was exceptionally edited, and that is why I could not give it a 4 out of 4. The dialog was sloppy in parts and there were some errors in the book.
Conflict on the Yangtze
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