Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Rare Earth by Davis Bunn

Marc Royce, a former CIA agent who is unofficially reactivated, takes a job with Lodestone, a civilian government contractor, and is stationed in Kenya. Something suspicious is happening there and the U.S. government is not sure what or who is responsible. Royce is sent to find out. After training in Nairobi where the Kenyan Lodestone headquarters is located, Royce is sent to a French aid station which is being overrun with displaced people due to the eruption of a volcano on Mount Elgon between Kenya and Uganda.

When Royce arrives with food and medical supplies he learns the camp leaders were hoping for soldiers to help keep order. However, as soon as Royce learns more about the situation he is able to restore peace by working through the displaced tribe elders.

He meets Kitra at the medical station in the camp. She lets him know right away that she doesn't like him because he works for Lodestone and she suspects the company was involved in the kidnapping of her brother. Serge, a medical technician at the camp, had been missing for eight days. What Kitra doesn't know and Royce can't tell her, is that her missing brother is part of the reason he was sent to Kenya. Royce, a widower, is instantly attracted to Kitra and is thankful to have such feelings again.

Royce is so effective in managing the camp that the UN district administrator, Frederick Uhura, takes an interest in him and provides more contracts for Lodestone. This makes Royce look better to his bosses. However, Royce was also there to investigate Lodestone personnel and he doesn't know who he can trust.

This is one of those stories where the reviewer needs to be careful not to say too much. However, I will tell you the suspense is powerful and the momentum of the story grows from start to finish. The characters are vivid as well as the descriptions, especially the African locations. The volcano adds a since of urgency and is used to help Royce at one point in the story. There is a trip to Israel where Royce meets Kitra's parents. Then there is the love story between Royce and Kitra and the hope of how it might end. 

I first met Marc Royce in Davis Bunn's Lion of Babylon. Rare Earth stands alone, however, and you can read the two books in any order. I loved them both.


The publisher has provided us the opportunity to give away one copy of the paperback edition of Rare Earth by Davis Bunn. 

Here are the rules:

1. The winner must have a non-P.O. Box address in the United States
3. You will get a second entry if you sign up for Davis Bunn's newsletter ( Leave a comment here stating you have done this.
4. You will get a third entry if you LIKE Davis Bunn's Facebook page ( a comment here stating you have done this.
The contest will close August 14, 2012 and a winner will be selected randomly from those who entered.

2. To enter the contest, leave a comment below, answering this questionIf you could serve as a missionary in another country, where would you go?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255. The book was then donated to a church library.


  1. I would dearly love to win a copy of this book. I have read it [library loan] but would love to have it in my own library. Davis Bunn is over the top as an author and I read everything of his I can get my hands on.

    I already subscribe to his blog and newsletter, does that count?

  2. forgot to answer the question I was so caught up in talking about Davis Bunn's writing ability! :( Sorry.

    If I were a missionary I would only want to serve in a country that the Lord led me to. I am involved in mission education as dir. of women and girls work and I know that were I might wish to serve would perhaps be where He was leading me.

    See my comment above for other info about me. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

  3. Thanks, Darlene. You are entered three times!

  4. As the Lord leads, I would serve where sent. My passion is helping young women caught in sex trafficking.

    I already get Davis' newsletter and am a friend/like on FB.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  5. Thanks, Linda. You're entered three times. Good job.

  6. I have always thought of Asia when I thought about missionary work. If God called me to be a missionary I would be praying and asking for His leading and Guidence in were I should go for sure though.

    I'm singned up for the news letters and have liked Davis' facebook page.

  7. I would have to go where English is spoken at least as a second language because I am not fluent in any other language. In order to reach people for Jesus a person must have good communication skills. Any of the continents God created would be good to serve in as long as there is one lost sheep there.

    It would be great to win this wonderful book. I am receiving e-mail from Davis Bunn so I believe I am signed up for his newsletter. I am not on Facebook but if the thought counts, I would follow :-).

    Blessings, Janice

  8. I have been a missionary in Cameroun and my heart is still in that part of Africa. Tchad has so many unreached people groups that need some one to bring them the good news.
    I do get the newsletter and will like Mr. Bunn on Facebook -

  9. I would love to be a House Mom at a college house in Austra, working with some young missionary friends of ours. I speak a smattering of German and would love to have a reason learn to speak it well! :)

    I already get Davis Bunn's newsletter! :)
    Pris Phillps

  10. I wanted to go as a missionary to Africa (had visited there while in college), but the Lord ended up sending my husband and me to Asia - 19 years in Hong Kong and 3 in Cambodia. At one point before Cambodia, we wanted to go to New Zealand to work with Chinese immigrants there, but the Lord said, "No, I need you in Cambodia."

    I signed up for Davis' newsletter and liked his Facebook page a long time ago.
    jnelson at skyhighway dot com

  11. In answer to the question regarding the mission field, I have always felt that a call to the mission field of Cuba.

  12. I already receive Davis Bunn's newsletter.

  13. Liked on Facebook

  14. I would love to be a missionary in Ireland. I already subscribe to Dunn's newsletter.


  15. I subscribe to Davis Bunn's newsletter and have "liked" his Facebook page.
    To answer the question about what country I'd serve as a missionary, I'd have to say first that I really would not want to serve as a missionary. However, if God told me to do this, I think he would tell me where to go to serve as well. So, it really wouldn't matter where I wanted to go, I'd go in obedience to where God wanted me. If I had my preference, though, it would be somewhere with good indoor plumbing!
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Rare Earth. I read Lion of Babylon, plus many other books by Davis Bunn, all of which I enjoyed.


  16. I have joined Davis Dunn's newletter and also "liked" him on facebook. If I had my way, I would enjoy going to South America, specifically Bolivia as my daughter-in-law is from that country and has numerous family and friends there to contact. I am taking Spanish and hope in the future to be able to travel there with the Good News of Jesus.

  17. I have aways had a fascination for stories about AFRICA ESPECIALLY south AFRICA, TANZANIA,and also Keyna,so I am excited to read this book. IF I were called to be a missionary it would be my choice to serve in Isreal,also a long time attraction. I am a subscriber to the newsletter and have 'LIKED" THE FACE BOOK PAGE.

  18. I've been added to Davis Bunn's newsletter distribution and I was already a liker on his FB page. I've been to Egypt on a missions trip before and would be honored if God called me to serve the people there. There are so many needs there and the Christians need to be strengthened. It's a hard life there for Christians...lovely people.

  19. I would love to win Rare Earth! It sounds like my type of book.
    If I served a Mission outside the U.S. I would love to go back to the Philippines again and serve.
    However, where is not important. It is where the Lord needs me the most that is important.

  20. I have Signed up for Davis Bunn's newsletter and I liked his book on facebook.

  21. I would return to Indonesia, where
    we served for 30 years.