Thursday, July 08, 2010

Book: Hunt Beyond the Frozen Fire, by Gabriel Hunt as told to Christa Faust (2010)

The latest Gabriel Hunt extravaganza begins in media res with our two-fisted adventurer eyeballing a treacherous ex-lover across “a murky, nameless Moldovan hole-in-the-wall” in pursuit of a bejeweled dagger. I tore through the action-packed opening pages expecting to catch my breath in Chapter Two, as the histories of the kindjal and Transdniestrian unrest were explained.

Nope. A furious chase on horseback. Chapter Three, then, will certainly –

Huh. An assault on an ancient fortress. No time for backstory, Mr. Hunt. Exposition comes on the fly. Even more astonishing, this mayhem is merely preamble. Hunt returns to his Foundation offices in Manhattan just long enough to get sent on an another expedition. This one involves the requisite beautiful woman, her missing scientist father, and the possibility of a lost civilization beneath the South Pole. Before it’s over, there will be more derring-do and generous helpings of sex. My friend Christa Faust never lets the pace flag for an instant. As fast as it moves, you’ll read it even faster. A wild, fun ride.

Bookstores don’t have “men’s adventure” sections anymore, so I never know where to look for the Hunt novels. Asking for them only baffles clerks. “They’re written by Gabriel Hunt. Well, technically, they’re not, because he’s a fictional character. They’re credited to him, but this one is written by ...”

After two chain stores and an independent let me down, I bought Frozen Fire on my Kindle. It felt wrong; the Hunt books, with their gloriously overripe covers, demand to be read in paperback. But it worked out for the best. I wasn’t entirely certain what spavined and portcullis meant, and could look them up instantly without breaking the story’s flow. I’ve read some highbrow stuff on my Kindle, but who’d have thought a pulp adventure novel would crack the whip on the dictionary function?