It’s been almost a year since I read this book. I’ve been marinating in sauce waiting to review it that whole time. The review is now ready. I heartily endorse Donald Brobst‘s new work, The Ghost of Africa.
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Donald and I met some years ago at a writer’s conference. We were both in the “Nobody will ever publish me” stage of our misery. But under that fatigue and gloom, we discovered the root of a friendship. Donald lives a life that 99% of the populace thinks is a story out of a novel, not a real man’s experience.
I knew he was the real deal when we talked about different topics in the land of danger, and he had the right answers. Either that, or I’m the most gullible doofus to trod the plains in the last few years. Don never once tried to snow me, and he kept his location quiet. I never knew where he was when we chatted.
There’s a reason for that: he does medicine at the edge of death. Probably overly dramatic, but the fact is he’s one of the very small number of medical professionals who risks his life to bring treatment to those on the edges, inside, and under civil wars around the African continent. He’s putting his body out there to do what his soul directs him to do. God’s work.
So, back to the book. Last year the finalists in my Genesis contest category all agreed to swap novels so we would have an idea of what our competition was like. I was nervous when I read Don’s book, not only because it arrived immediately, but the thing was good. Good enough to knock me out of the running. (I did mental math, which is always dangerous, and thought no way they’d let a clown like me beat a distinguished doctor doing God’s work in the wilds of Africa.)
I’m not going to give you the chronological book review that many do on their blogs. But I will tell you why I liked the book and why it might appeal to you.
1. It’s edgy. Edgy as in not even close to an Amish Romance Novel (ARN) in any way. People have guns, knives, bad attitudes, and the ability to use those weapons.
2. Petty personal problems (I love alliteration) become life and death issues for characters. Just like in real life.
3. While it’s modified for the reader, Don gets it on weaponry and evil in combination. I won’t fritz the plot for you, but there’s some stuff in there that Don and I talked about after I read the book. Talked a lot. It’s based on some serious research. ’nuff said.
4. God is not standing in the room with you clonking you in the head with a Bible every twenty pages. Faith is organic to the story, yet it’s kept “clean” so that Christian readers will not object to language/sex issues.
5. I want to read more about the main character. If a book leaves me wanting more, it’s worth a read.
6. Did I mention believable minor characters? Child soldiers? Realistic problems confronting the heroes?
I’m giving The Ghost of Africa five stars. ***** is pretty good when you read it locked in a quest for the prize. I can honestly say that if The Ghost of Africa had beaten Assault on Saint Agnes I would have been glad for Don. He did a great job with this book.
Now, run out and buy it. Then review it. Don’t dawdle, get going! That book is available today. Let’s make Don’s launch as good as you fine people made mine.
Thanks for dropping by.
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Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.
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