Monday, May 11, 2009

Hunt at the Well of Eternity by James Reasoner

Pulp action heroes. Great stuff. Doc Savage. The Spider. The Shadow. Even the early James Bond, when he was written by Ian Fleming. Classic heroes. Yet, the pulp heroes we know and love are dying. Their greatest authors have moved on or passed away, they have shifted to the movies and left books behind. What we needed was a little heavy-hitting action to bring back the days of the pulp era. Enter Gabriel Hunt.

Gabriel Hunt is a man of action. He loves discovery, and he shifts through ancient finds to discover the secrets of the past. This affluence for the past leaves him with a fondness for the less modern, less high tech gadgetry, and instead he chooses a Colt .45, and regular phones over cells. He gets things done.

What he gets done normally doesn't include fancy parties. So, when Gabriel is at a party in New York, he doesn't expect much to happen, let alone to have a beautiful woman kidnapped after trying to talk with his brother, and fellow member of the Hunt Foundation, Michael. From there, Gabriel follows the trail to Florida, Mexico City, and beyond, hoping to track down the kidnappers and discover what they were after. The only clues he has are a broken whiskey bottle and an old Confederate flag.

Ostensibly written by Gabriel Hunt himself, the title page credits the ghost writer behind this novel, James Reasoner, prolific author of crime, mystery, and westerns, both original stories and media tie-ins. What he has crafted here is a thoroughly enjoyable novel, and the start of what I hope is a very long series.

While there is little push towards literary excellence, there is an undeniably good story, well told, that is a lot of fun. It may not have had quite the x-factor I hope to find to give something a full 10/10 score, but believe me, it teetered right on the edge. I don't give partial points on my grade scale, but if I did, this would be as close to a ten as it could get without being one. I hope that the next volumes have just a little bit stronger of a beginning, as I felt this one started just a touch slow before everything really ramped up. If this had a slightly faster beginning, it would have earned a perfect score.

This book was a truly fun step back towards the pulp heroes of yesteryear, and it was a blast to read. This book brings back the cliffhangers as well, and you just can't find good place to put it down, so you carry on, relishing each moment as you race to the conclusion. This is a light, very fun, very exciting read, and one not to be missed.

Welcome, Gabriel Hunt, to the hall of immortal pulp action heroes.


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