Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hunt: Beyond the Frozen Fire

I reviewed Gabriel Hunt in his adventure Through the Cradle of Fear back in September last year. I enjoyed the book and have followed all of Hunt's adventures up till now. I had hoped to revisit the series in review and have the opportunity to do so now, though without the fun and excitement in which I had the first time around.

Beyond the Frozen Fire begins with Hunt being employed by the daughter of Dr. Lawrence Silver. Her father disappeared in an Antarctic expedition and all that remains is a cryptic radio transmission from him stating that he was in a place that was warm and with trees.

Hunt reluctantly agrees and assembles a team to mount a hopeless rescue mission. What is thought to be to be a fool's errand reveals a subterranean world beneath the Antarctic ice kept vital by the red tinged ice above that gives the world below life and warmth and keeps the secret place from being discovered by satellite imaging. Once there a tribe of Amazonian woman are discovered and a lost Nazi doomsday weapon.

The book, penned by Christa Faust (each book is ghost written by various authors) had all the ear marks of a great pulp adventure, but fell flat for me. I had lamented the possibility of various writers changing the voice of the novels. With Beyond the Frozen Fire the story changed tone, pace, and suffered in the story telling.

I do not wish to take anything from Christa Faust as she is an accomplished writer, and an Edgar Award finalist, but this story failed for me on many levels. The story, while having the potential to be great pulp adventure in the vein of Burroughs or Doyle, falls very short, even when measured against those giants. I did not look for such lofty prose but something more than what I received. Instead of focusing on the adventure and the potential that a lost world, especially one where Nazis had gone before, the author looks to vividly described sexual encounters and mating rites to tell a tepid story.

I feel the adventure was short changed for prose that only a fourteen year old boy would find appealing. Which brings me to the other issue I had with Beyond the Frozen Fire; I originally recommended the Hunt series for younger readers. Readers of twelve or thirteen and on might enjoy the stories and maybe introduce them to the pulp style adventures as other series has done for fantasy. I can no longer make that recommendation. Beyond the Frozen Fire is liberally sprinkled with F-Bombs and suggestive and lewd language. The focus on sex as I mentioned dulled the tale. Now the story is definitely for a mature audience. The voice and tone of the books took a definite turn with the latest Hunt adventure.

I wish I could recommend the latest Hunt adventure Beyond the Frozen Fire. I was bored with it, not that the writing was horrible, or the story so bad, but it was not the adventure I had come to expect from reading the previous Hunt tales. I might be expecting too much from an afternoon's entertainment, but the bar had been previously raised by other stories from the Hunt Foundation.

1 comment:

  1. I loves me some hollow earth action. Too bad you panned the book... maybe I will read it anyway, just to see if you are correct. Nice review BTW.