Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gabriel Hunt: The New Pulp Star

A new book series cropped up recently and with a little help from my friends: okay, they showed me the cover…. I bought what appears to be the first book. Hunt: Through the Cradle of Fear by Gabriel Hunt, which is to say Charles Ardai wrote it. But the idea is that the authors are ghost writing for the adventurer.

Readers can check out all the action so to speak at .

Here is the rundown: Gabriel Hunt is a latter day Indiana Jones, who, along with his brother Michael head up the Hunt Foundation, part philanthropic group part adventure club. Gabriel spends his time slashing his way through steaming jungles and crawling through ancient tombs while his brother provides support back in Manhattan. The series is being written by numerous authors through out the rest of this year and into next.

Through the Cradle of Fear pits Gabriel Hunt against an evil Hungarian sword master named DeGroet, you can almost see the guy without any descriptors, bald, hawkish features with a thin villain's mustache and a monocle. There is a hidden chamber within the Sphinx of Giza (see my previous O'Connell post) which leads Hunt and DeGroet to Greece and Sri Lanka in pursuit of an ultimate weapon.

Through the Cradle of Fear offers some wonderful pulpy daring do, beautiful women that fall all over our hero, and villains that you want to hiss at. The book offers some light escapism without too much science or explanation to get in the way. The characters don't have the answers so there is no need to explain it to the reader. What you do get is plenty of action; bare knuckle, bullets blazing kind of action that rolls through your mind's eye like a rocketing Saturday Matinee.

The characters are broadly drawn, but enjoyable, none are plagued with heavy emotional baggage, and their motivations are straight forward. It was nice to sit down and polish off a novel in an afternoon, instead of working through a 600 page thriller which is a great read, (As I recommend James Rollins for scientific pulp action) but takes two weeks of hour lunch breaks to read. This first book seems to be appropriate for twelve and up readers. The language is tame, the sex off screen as it were, and the prose light. So I hope this will turn younger readers towards the fun of pulp fiction as Harry Potter and Eldest did for fantasy.

My complaints of the book are minimal at best and picky at worst. I was actually hoping that the series was set in the nebulous golden era of Rick O'Connell and Indiana Jones, between 1920 and 1945, but is set in the modern era, without any harm to the story. I also wonder how the series will look and move forward with numerous authors penning them. I hope they all can keep the same voice and tone of Cradle of Fear.

The best thing I can say about this Gabriel Hunt series is that I am looking forward to picking up the next one.


  1. I find it very cool that the idea of pulp adventure can take place in a modern setting without damaging the tropes found within the genre. I think most of us forget that most pulp writers set their adventures in the time period in which they wrote. It is only fitting that the tradition is carried forward, and new adventures with a pulp atmosphere are set in modern times as well. I look forward to reading the Hunt novels. Thanks for the review.

  2. Thanks Shane! A good point that the writers taht gave birth to the genre were writing for their era. And yes, the pulp style does work for the modern era, but since I read the golden era first stuff, its a nostalgia. As to modern pulp see my James Rollins review.