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Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Last Savanna by Mike Bond

Release Date - August 2013

Mike Bond
Mandevilla Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Ten years ago, there were hundreds of thousands of elephants in Africa. Today, there are approximately 5,000. The number of rhinos have also plummeted from thousands to just a few, and the western black rhino was declared extinct in 2013. All because the value of their tusks or horns are valuable to poachers. Those are real facts, and they play a big part in The Last Savanna.

 Ian McAdam, a former SAS officer, joins a friend who has been asked to form a team to hunt down poachers who are killing the last of Africa's elephants. McAdam's friend has helped him numerous times, so he agrees. As they set off to find and stop the poachers from more senseless killings, they learn archaeologist Rebecca Hecht, a woman McAdam once loved, has been kidnapped by the same Somalian poachers. Now, McAdam must save both the woman from his past, keep his team safe, and stop the poachers from killing more animals.

I won't say that The Last Savanna is an easy read. It really isn't. As it's so detailed and honest, it is often gruesome and hard to take. I had hard time getting a feel for McAdam's character too. He is a tortured hero, his wife's left him, and with the jumping around at first and introduction of numerous characters, it took a while for me to find my groove.

That said, the scenes that really gripped me were the ones done from the animals' perspectives. When the female lion, hunted and killed her prey, I was drawn to the story. When she had to defend her meal from a male, I wanted to cry for her. When the poacher entered the scene, again, I found myself siding with the animal. The same happened when the elephants were being poached. Mike Bond does a superb job getting into the animals' minds.That is reason enough to get a copy of The Last Savanna.

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