Those of you who have been with Luke Reviews for awhile will remember an early review on this site for Hunt at the Well of Eternity by James Reasoner. As the first in a series of books following adventurer Gabriel Hunt, the book was a wonderful jaunt of global proportions. Gabriel becomes something of a modern day Indiana Jones, travelling the world to collect priceless artifacts and stop evil all in one fell swoop. After the excitement of the first novel, my anticipation of the second novel was built up even more with an interview with Charles Ardai, series creator and author of the second novel, Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear.
Gabriel Hunt’s second adventure begins with his over-the-top escape from the clutches of DeGroet, an evil Hungarian millionaire who won’t think twice about murder if it helps him get his way. DeGroet had kidnapped the beautiful Sheba, and Hunt rescues her and brings her back to the headquarters of the Hunt Foundation, a multi-million dollar organization that goes around acquiring and protecting valuable archaeological odds and ends. However, Hunt and Sheba are not safe back at the Hunt Foundation, as DeGroet sends killers after them, and a world-wide odyssey ensues, with Gabriel chasing DeGroet and the again-kidnapped Sheba to Giza, on to Greece, and beyond, in an adventure that is perpetually flying along.
Ardai creates a very solid, action-packed tale of adventure and mystery, as Gabriel and Sheba race to find the treasure, while at the same time trying to solve the puzzle of just what the treasure is. We are giving a small bit of information into Hunt’s background, as with each book we learn more and more about him, and we also meet his sister, Lucy, who is far more than she seems. Charles Ardai himself, along with his wife Naomi Novik, both make cameo appearances as well, as a tie-in to the special bonus at the end: a surprise adventure novelette.
This novelette, “Nor Idolatry Blind the Eye,” also written by Charles Ardai, captures the story of Malcolm, an over-the-hill adventurer, who takes on one last challenge: finding the idol of the golden calf. This much darker coda to the novel is far more ambiguous and despairing than the usual Gabriel Hunt fare, but well worth the read, and a very pleasant inclusion in this action-packed book.
All in all, this is the perfect book to pick up for a weekend away from work, or to take on a vacation, a light, fast, and adventure-filled set of stories that are wonderful for the summer air.