The High Hunt

To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed by this book the first time I read it about three months ago. However, since I’m months behind in doing new reviews, I skimmed through it again before writing this. It holds up better the second time around.

This review copy came straight from the author.

Review: The High Hunt: The Orion Guild, Book One, Adam Connell, 2013.High Hunt

Bagging a Yeti in the Himalayas is just one of the things that has made Lansing a legend in the Orion Guild. He’s a true hunter with all the necessary skills: tracking, stalking, and a crack shot. He respects his kills. And he won’t hunt men.  He’s the symbol of the Guild.

But not everyone likes the Guild and its fussy, stodgy ways: no post-1953 firearms are used in their hunts nor much other modern technology. And they forbid their members to hunt men.

That’s why the upstart hunting organization RifleHire has targeted the Guild, and Lansing in particular, for destruction.

Lansing takes charge of the Orion Guild’s contract to purge a herd of brindles, animals highly prized for their aphrodisiac meat and that can only be raised on Wildernesse. That happens to be the home planet of Lansing before he was forced into exile after his parents were wrongly accused of trying to undercut the government’s brindle meat monopoly.

But that’s not the only reunion taking place. One-armed Bledsoe is waiting there to hunt brindle too and disgrace Lansing after the latter forced him out of the Guild for illegally hunting men. He’s a sadist, a proud man of many impoverishing vices, and really only skilled at shooting – preferably slow death shots rather than Lansing’s quick kills. In tow is Cass, a weird dog-woman chimera there to do the hunting and stalking and mundane camp duties for Bledsoe. Continue reading

Total Secession

Another retro review.

This one is from December 20, 2012, and the book itself came to me from the author via LibraryThing.

Review: Total Secession, Adam Connell, 2012.Total Secession

If you’re wanting Connell’s novel to be a quick bit of hack work to cash in on recent talk in the U.S., post the 2012 presidential election, of states seceding from the Union, one of those stories where our heroes are repeatedly, enthusiastically, and violently tutored in the necessity of secession, you are going to be sadly disappointed.

The secessions this story is really concerned with are the personal ones, the disunions of family and friends.

To be sure, the United States really are breaking up. The reasons, though, are covered in maybe 15 pages all together: disgust with foreign wars, disgust with a corrupt federal government and its alphabet agencies and repressive criminal code and appalling budgets, “the foul word … sewer word” appeal as in foreign aid and justice lacking in federal courts, distress from illegal immigrations, “a government that grew too large to be overseen by its previous incarnation”.

Which brings us to S-Day, the Day of Total Secession when the Union will exist no longer. As part of that transition, all prisoners and illegal aliens not guilty of murder, sexual offenses, or child abuse are being released from Federal prisons. Our story proper starts in Florida, S-Day -11, when convicts Grant and Litz have been released. Grant is a giant of a man, a killer (but not, technically, guilty of murder) with tattoos from all the prison’s major gangs. Grant wants to go north to see his wife and children who he has not seen in 10 years. Litz has another errand in mind – completion of a reunion with the sisters he thinks cheated him out of an inheritance. Given a car and money by a grateful ex-guard and another ex-prisoner Grant saved in a riot, the two set out for Albany. Continue reading

Power Games

When Richard Peters offered me a review copy of his novel Power Games: Operation Enduring Unity 1, I was not enthusiastic.

Power GamesThe cover (not the one shown) looked kind of cartoonish. A blurb stating “After years of unchecked extremism, the presidential election is now a high-stakes poker game played out on a bloody table.” did not sound promising. I suspected either an attack on “Tea Party extremism” or, in the manner of some of the self-published survivalist novels I’ve read descriptions of, an attack on the current U.S. administration. No matter how congenial the politics, I expected crude satire or propaganda. The title seemed too cute too.

But it was a story about a Second American Civil War, and I suspect, as the years go by, we will hear more about states contemplating secession from the Union for whatever reason. Having reviewed Adam Connell’s Total Secession, a very different novel set against the background of a soon to be extinct Union, I was curious what Peters did with the idea.

I liked it, a lot, enough to buy the sequel Shock & Awe: Operation Enduring Unity 2 which just shows the wisdom of Peter’s advice to self-published authors: research and define your target reader.

Review: Power Games: Operation Enduring Unity 1 by Richard Peters, 2013.

No plan survives first contact with the enemy. Continue reading