Monday, March 19, 2012

New Reviews from Barry

TROUBLE ON HIS WINGS, L Ron Hubbard, Galaxy, $9.95, 132 pages, ISBN: 9781592123360, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Johnny Brice is a news photographer and is sent, along with Irish Donnegan – his pilot, to retrieve photographs and film of a disaster at sea as well as take aftermath shots for World News. Normally this is all part of a day’s work, but this time he meets up with a real live jinx that brings him nothing but trouble for the rest of the story.

After obtaining the film and rescuing a girl, he finds that all of his footage is ruined by sea water and the girl seems to be trying to keep hidden from someone. Johnny’s next assignment takes him out West to capture a forest fire that is destroying the countryside. The girl again joins them and true to Johnny calling her the Jinx, it happens again. The plane crashes and the film is destroyed in the fire.

Brice is fired but after filing a verbal report that makes the front page news, he is rehired and sent to catch the Oriental Clipper to do a story on the Chinese ambassador. The Clipper is shot down by a Japanese plane (the story was originally published in 1939), and the group is captured by the Japanese, who also seize their film. After the Ambassador is killed “while trying to escape”, Johnny and his friends manage to escape without the film. Jinxed again.

I’ll leave it up to you to discover the surprising conclusion of the story. This is some of the pulps at their best and this series from Galaxy makes it available to a new generation.

THE CRIMSON BATTLE AXE, Curtis Oddo, 17.99,, 224 pages, ISBN: 9781257381630, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

There’s a lot going on in this book. While it is not your usual/Conan/Elric/Bran barbarian story, there are portions that will remind you of those who come before.

Gnarl is the wielder of THE CRIMSON BATTLE AXE and used it to remove his people from slavery to the humans years ago. Now he is being sought to help the four races of his world to stop the attempts of Dark Lord Nobis to gain control of the Axe and cross the dimensions to rule this world of myth and magic.

The four representatives go to Thelady and ask her to contact Gnarl to help them in their quest. Gnarl must decide whether or not to seek vengeance on those who once enslaved his people or help them find just got all the races.

It’s the classic story of good versus evil with all the twists and turns you expect and some you don’t. Plus how many first novels have a Boris and Julie these days?

A GAME OF THRONES: The Graphic Novel, Volume One, George R.R . Martin, Adapted by Daniel Abraham, Art by Tommy Patterson, $25, Bantam Books, ISBN: 9780440423218, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

The circle is complete. From its beginning as an outstanding novel, to the groundbreaking HBO series, and now as a graphic novel, this phenomenal creation is available in all forms for everyone to collect and enjoy.

While some of the story may move too fast on television, the graphic novel allows you to have long lingering looks at the action and intrigue. Highly recommended.

THE OPENING, Ron Savarese, Home Planet Publishing, $12.95, 217 pages, ISBN: 9780615460765, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Joe St. John is having a bad year. His investments are faltering, his properties are mortgaged to the hilt, his wife has cancer, he is alienating his children, and the only place he can find solace is at the bottom of a bottle.

His wife convinces him that they go to his hometown and celebrate Christmas with his family. They return home and the weather presents them with the worst snow storm in years. Joe and his brother go to the local pub to meet up with friends’ unseen in years.

Joe ends up being the last one to leave the bar and decides to walk home in the snow. He hears a child’s voice in the storm and goes to save him and ends up falling into a crevice where he has the chance to rediscover the choices he has made that led him to where he is now.

Savarese has written an enlightening novel of spirituality and the choice one must make as to follow the light or not. This is an interesting first novel that will cause you to look at your life with a new light.

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