Let me begin by telling you this book was a 2013 Christy Award winner for "Best Suspense Novel". In this story of suffering refugees which is really so much more than that, Marc Royce is thrown into a Kenyan refugee camp as a last minute hire for the United Nations, sent to replace the man who had trained extensively for this assignment. He was to audit the organization that was providing relief and support to the refugees. Davis Bunn wrote this about the greed for power and money that displaces people and nations.
Marc is pulled into the suffering and cannot help but look beyond that suffering to begin to put together odd pieces of a puzzle that do not fit the picture he sees. Thus he finds the machinations of Lodestone, the relief organization that he is to audit. He gets to know the Kenyans that are being evacuated and in time, gains their trust and respect. They begin to tell him about how they are being evacuated because a volcano is erupting nearby. Whole villages are being moved; a culture and way of life are being destroyed. Wrapped up in all of this is the Christian/Islamic/Judeo conflict in that part of the world.
I was unfamiliar with rare earth minerals until I read this story. In fact, I had never heard of them before this. I researched the topic and found that they are real and they are used in our cell phones and computers, tablets, smartphones; all of that. These minerals are only found in a few places in the world. That fact, of course, makes for much competition in the rare earth market, worldwide. They are irreplaceable to the technology industry. China has the monopoly on the rare earth market and the world buys from them. I had no clue, quite honestly. The United States buys these minerals from China.
The author writes with such honesty and conviction that it brings the story to life. He draws the characters realistically with their fears, secrets, all the humanity that is in us. Davis Bunn writes Christian fiction and I appreciated the fact that God was a big part of the story and His working was evident. When I am able to read a novel in which the author has included the faith of the main characters, and God's hand in the solution, that is a good book. And yet, the realistic horror of war and the violence that takes place give the book authenticity. Mr. Bunn has other Marc Royce novels which I intend to read. His writing reminds us that God truly is everywhere, even when He seems most distant.
I highly recommend Rare Earth and give it five stars. I pulled this book from my TBR stack to read and review for you. It is the 2nd in a series of three. Lion of Babylon is the first in the series; Strait of Hormuz is the last. I will be reading both of these.
You can read more about Davis Bunn books and the Marc Royce series at Davis Bunn / Rare Earth.
Read more about rare earth minerals at Rare Earth Minerals. You may be amazed.
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