Though Vultures in the Playground by A. Sparrow is a work of fiction, the subject of the continuing violence and upheaval for Africans is very real and in the present day. I applaud Sparrow for addressing this topic and for bringing into question the corruption that allows this turmoil to continue. It's corruption that isn't just done by African governments or people, but corruption that is manipulated and used by other governments who wish to use the ensuing chaos to further their own ends.
I know it may seem as if this would be impossible. We just don't wish to believe that "evolved" societies would do such a thing, but I assure it happens. You don't have to take my word for it though. If you're interested, I welcome you to take a few minutes and research it for yourselves. I think you'll be astounded at what horrible things are still being done in this day and age.
Again, I nod to Sparrow for broaching a topic that many would prefer to ignore. I only wish I could I say I loved the story as much as the topic of the story. Unfortunately, Sparrow's main character was too weak of a personality to hold up. This is sad because I have always wanted a story where an average person could be the hero. Why do they all have to be some super soldier, or a former spy, or a special forces person, or any number of person who isn't what we all are?
I now believe that the problem may lie in the fact that when we try to place an average person in the story we try to make them so average that they actually end up being below average.
Archie is a traveler of the world, he visits many foreign locale working with a charity trying to provide humanitarian aid to the people. He's described as a flabby, middle-aged man with an ex-wife, who could no longer handle his traveling for work, and no one else whom he's close too. Archie's failure to learn from his past travels, his inability to see the present truth for what it is, and his lack of willingness to understand the path he must now follow is too much to expect the reader to accept.
Overall, Vultures in the Playground deserves high praise for a difficult topic tackled and brought out to be viewed by all, but fails to match that standard with the main character who is showing us this beautiful and dangerous world.
*Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for a review*
(review of free book)