Friday, June 30, 2017

Hammer of God (Alex Hunter #5.5) ★★★☆☆

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 Title: Hammer of God
 Series: Alex Hunter #5.5
 Author: Greig Beck
 Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
 Genre: Science Fiction
 Pages: 115
 Format: Digital Edition


Someone has access to multi-kiloton nuclear bombs [of the size and type to be able to wipe out Jerusalem]. They also have access to beings of unhumanness that can carry these bombs to wherever they are needed to go, without stopping, without food, without water, without detection and without being susceptible to gun fire.

Israel will not stand for such a threat to exist without striking back. But even their special forces can't deal with giants who apparently can't die because they're already dead. Enter the HAWC's, led by Alex Hunter.

Now, the combined forces, that are both disavowable by their respective countries, must find the terrorists who are creating these nukes and the alchemist who is creating the undead carriers. It comes down to Alex Hunter, the Arcadian, to take down a thousands year old alchemist who wants to rule the world while inhabiting Hunter's superior body.

Yeah, like the Arcadian is going to let THAT happen.

My Thoughts:

As I was reading this near the beginning, I thought this would make a great full length novel. At 115 pages, it is a pretty good novella. Near the end I changed my mind and was glad it was as short as it was. While these books are never studies in character development, this felt particularly card-boardy.

There is a difference between telling a good story and telling an engaging story. An engaging story utilizes all aspects of the authorial craft whereas a good story can follow a formula, cut a few corners and still keep your interest. This was a good story.

I have to admit, I have been hoping that after this many books and this much writing experience, that Beck would have learned a bit more about writing characters. In many ways, Beck reminds of the likes of Christopher Stasheff or even Robert Asprin. Both are solid B level writers but they never rose above that. I am beginning to think that Beck has found his level and will never get any better. I'm not going to stop reading these Alex Hunter books, mind you, but I'll be adjusting my expectations accordingly.


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