Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

The return of Jack West Jr.

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The return of Jack West Jr.

"The Six Sacred Stones"I have previously posted on the techno-thriller heroes of Australian author Matthew Reilly: Jack West Jr. and Shane Schofield (aka Scarecrow). I had hoped to see a new novel with one of them, and now we have a new Jack West Jr. novel.

Reilly’s works are marked by two elements: dialing up the action to level 11 at times, and having the hero and associates navigating an area that is similar to a “platform” computer game.

Jack is an former Australian soldier now teamed up with a diverse group trying to stop ancient threats to the world. Jack has a cybernetic hand, replacing one he lost saving the life of a young girl, Lily, who is vital to their missions. The hand was built by Jack’s mentor, Professor Maximilian Epper, “Wizard.”

Against them are various rogue elements of certain powerful nations. Their foes include his own father, a U.S. general, and several world leaders who expect to come out on top once the threats are over. His father is a real piece of work, as is his stepbrother who is allied with his father.

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The underwater archaealogy thrillers of David Gibbins

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2017 in Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The underwater archaealogy thrillers of David Gibbins

'Atlantis'A recent techno-thriller author I’ve discovered is David Gibbins. What sets him apart is that Gibbins is an actual underwater archaeologist! So he is using his professional background to base his works of fiction.

All his works feature fictional maritime archaeologist Jack Howard and his team. They are all contemporary thrillers and involve a plausible archaeological/historical backdrop. In fact, in the back of all the books is a section where Gibbins gives the factual background for the ideas.

The main character, Jack Howard, is head of the fictitious International Maritime University, an educational and research organization with the resources to have facilities around Europe and research vessels. His right-hand man is Costas Kazantzakis, a marine engineer (you almost have the Dirk Pitt/Al Giordino dynamic here, plus IMU kind of stands in for NUMA).

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More ‘Event Group’ thrillers

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017 in Pulps, Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

More ‘Event Group’ thrillers

'Overlord'I have previously posted about David Golemon‘s Event Group series. This techno-thriller series focuses on a secretive group of scientists and soldiers who are part of the National Archives: Department 5656, or the Event Group. They look for dangerous secrets in the world to secure and preserve them, and have been around since Lincoln’s time.

At present, there are 11 books in the series. My first posting was on the first eight. Let’s look at the next books in the series.

A storyline that ran through the series and was a major part of three novels was that the world is threatened by an invasion of aliens, the Grays. They had wiped out a previous humanoid race that had existed on another world in our solar system, the remains of which formed the asteroid belt. This was revealed in Legacy. The first novel in the series served to both introduce us to the Event Group, to Maj. Jack Collins (now a colonel), the new head of security, and to the threat of the Grays.

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More Preston & Child

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

More Preston & Child

"Beyond the Ice Limit"Well, they keep putting them out, so I’ll keep reading and reviewing them. I have previously posted about the writing team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I have been enjoying their long-running Pendergast series, and the more recent Gideon Cross. Now they have new novels out in both series.

So, first up is the new Gideon Cross: Beyond the Ice Limit. This one is a sequel to one of Preston & Child’s stand-alone novels, The Ice Limit.

In The Ice Limit we are first introduced to Eli Glinn and his Effective Engineering Solutions. In this 2000 novel, Eli and EES are hired to come up with a plan to remove a huge meteor from an island near Cape Horn, and return it to the U.S., where it will be the showcase for a new museum being built by billionaire Palmer Lloyd. Obtaining the meteor is not without its issues, not the least of which is an Argentinian naval ship pursuing them. Their ship is sunk, taking the meteor to the ocean floor. At which point they figure out the meteor is actually an alien seed and is growing.

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More Nina & Eddie

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017 in Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

More Nina & Eddie

'The Valhalla Prophecy'I have previously posted on Andy McDermott‘s series starring archaeologist Nina Wilde and her bodyguard/ex-SAS/boyfriend and now husband Eddie Chase.

As noted, the first eight Wilde and Chase novels comprised a loose series, as they had a secondary story-line dealing with Atlantis that started with the first novel and is wrapped up with the eighth.

The next novel, The Valhalla Prophecy, starts a new phase for both characters. It’s interesting that even the cover style changed with this one. Here they learn of an ancient and deadly substance found by the Vikings with can cause death and mutations.

The Russians had discovered one source of it and knew it was so dangerous, they destroyed it and setup a group to monitor and discover any other sources. Wilde and Chase team up with them to find the other known source and destroy it before a dangerous American can obtain it and use it. But in doing so, this has unexpected consequences for both Nina and Eddie that leads to them leaving the International Heritage Agency, the UN agency formed to protect Atlantis and that Nina finally got to head.

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Clive Cussler’s ‘Isaac Bell’ series

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017 in Pulps, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Clive Cussler’s ‘Isaac Bell’ series

'The Chase'I have previously posted on Clive Cussler‘s many series, mainly his Dirk Pitt series, but have touched on his other series.

One series that is a bit different from the rest is his Isaac Bell series. Unlike the others, this one is set in the early 20th century and focuses on Bell, the lead investigator for the fictional Van Dorn Detective Agency. Also unlike the prior series, nautical matters don’t play a big part.

One element of this series, we often see the villain in action without knowing who he (or she) is at first. And usually there is a follow-on part set years or decades after the main action, to sort of put an end to the story.

The first novel was written by Cussler, the rest have been co-authored by Justin Scott, who holds the record of not only co-authoring the most novels with Cussler, but being the sole co-author of one of the Cussler series.

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