Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Book Review: Hunt Beyond the Frozen Fire by Gabriel Hunt (series, #4)

September 21, 2011 3 comments

Terrified woman in front of knife-thrower.Summary:
Gabriel Hunt is independently wealthy and runs around the world saving artifacts, people, etc…  Think Indiana Jones in book form.  In this entry, a hot lady named Velda shows up at his office asking him to help look for her father who’s gone missing in Antarctica.  His last transmission mentions trees, and his colleagues believe he was hallucinating, but Velda wants to save what could be her father’s greatest discovery.  Hunt decides to take the case and assembles a team including his best friend, southern charmer Maximilian, and his ex-girlfriend, a mechanic, which is a bit awkward since he’s now banging Velda.  When the team gets out to the portion of ice Velda’s father was lost around, they fall into a fission in the ice and discover red ice and a tunnel that just may prove Velda’s father wasn’t hallucinating after all.

This is what pulp fiction should be all about.  This is the kind of book that I finished and immediately contacted multiple friends to tell them the full plot, and then they all wanted to read it for themselves in spite of knowing how it ends.  In fact, knowing the ending made them want to read it more.  This is the kind of book where I hit one particular scene, and my jaw dropped open and I started laughing hysterically and everyone in my work cafeteria turned to look at me.  Basically: this kind of book is why I love pulp fiction and thumb my nose at literary fiction snobs.

Basically, ridiculous things build up and keep happening until suddenly you’re just accepting something in the plot that is INSANELY out there, but in the world the author has created it works.  We go from a murderous knife-throwing gypsy who also sells munitions to a mysterious message from a father who survived the Holocaust to falling into a fission in the ice and not dying to leap-frogging across deadly cold water on ice islands to finding an Amazon style jungle under the ice to being attacked by a giant chicken to being taken hostage by a tribe of Amazon Nazi women.

Yes, you read that right.  Amazon Nazi women.  Most of whom are naturally late teens to early 20s, blond haired, blue eyed, and completely gorgeous. NATURALLY.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What, Amanda? You’re doing The Real Help project. You host the MIA Reading Challenge. What the what?” But the thing is, this sort of fiction is just about FUN, and the plot is so ridiculous it’s not like I’m going to go out there and say obviously there are murderous Amazon Nazis in the ice under Antarctica.  Just….no.  It’s overly ridiculous on purpose.  Kind of like old school MTV shows like Room Raiders and Next.  It’s escapist literature.  It knows it’s ridiculous, and that’s ok.  Most of it is not offensive if you have a modicum of a sense of humor.

Of course, just because it’s hilarious and ridiculous doesn’t mean it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea.  It is quite violent.  It probably presses the boundaries of what some people would be ok with reading about sex and violence.  You guys know me and know I don’t really have boundaries for those things though.  To me this would be the perfect read to give a reluctant male reader.  It’s action-packed, fast-paced, and basically a male wet dream.  Obviously that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

Essentially if you think that a book version of 007 complete with a village of Amazon Nazis under the ice sounds like one of the best things ever, you’re going to love this book.  If you read that sentence and rolled your eyes or cringed, then yeah, avoid it.  It’s not meant for you.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: I think this was Paperbackswap, but I’m not positive.

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Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (Series, #1)

Girl looking between tree branches.Summary:
Mary’s world is tightly controlled by the Sisters and the Guardians.  The Sisters show the village how to find favor with God via the yearly and daily rituals.  The Guardians check and maintain the fence that keeps the Unconsecrated out.  The Sisters says the Unconsecrated came with the Return as a punishment to the people.  This is why they must maintain God’s favor.  But Mary dreams of the tales of the ocean and tall buildings her mother told her about, and her mother’s mother for generations back.  She will need those dreams when her world is turned upside down with a breach of the fence.  They’ve happened before, but never like this.

This is an interesting take on the traditional zombie tale.  In lieu of starting with the outbreak or just after the outbreak, Ryan envisions what life would be like for the descendants of the few who’ve managed to survive.  Of course the sheer number of zombies in the world means it’s impossible for the few survivors left to kill them all, so they must live with constant vigilance.  In the case of Mary’s village, they’ve turned to religion to maintain the level of control required to keep them all safe.  This is the strongest portion of the book as it leads to interesting questions.  The threat outside the fence is indeed real.  Mary’s questions are making it difficult for the Sisters to maintain the control needed and prevent panic in the village.  On the other hand, the Sisters aren’t exactly being honest with the population or giving them a happy life.  They’re just giving them a life.

Where the action supposedly picks up with the breach of the fence is where the book sort of left me behind.  The fact of the matter is, I wound up caring more about the village than Mary, and I don’t think I was supposed to.  Where I was supposed to be rooting for Mary, I found myself rooting for the community, the group of survivors.  Mary’s individualism rings as starkly selfish to me in light of the very real threat around them.  This is odd because generally I’m in favor of people being themselves and not necessarily following the group, but that’s different when a crisis is being faced.  I found myself wishing it had read more like Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic Cranford, which is a study of a town and not an individual.

Of course, that’s not the type of book Ryan set out to write.  She set out to write a book about a girl in a future where zombies are a fact of life.  She writes beautifully, with exquisite sentences that read more like an 18th century novel than a 21st century one.  I also am certain that the teenage audience this YA book is aimed at will be rooting for Mary in her quest to find herself and her dreams.

If you are a teen or a teen at heart looking for an adventure tale with a touch of romance, you will enjoy this book.  If traditional zombies are what you are after, however, you should look elsewhere.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: PaperBackSwap

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