Thursday, December 30, 2021

Only Child by Patricia Wallace

Only Child 
by Patricia Wallace
Zebra 1985

A private plane crash lands near a small town, the only survivor being a young girl Hannah who escapes unscathed. After she arrives the playground burns down, the schoolteacher has a violent miscarriage, and children begin disappearing into thin air.

Hannah and the plane are traced to a California commune where kids also went missing, which is good enough reason to believe she is supernaturally evil and inject her with preacher blood, causing her innards to explode out.

Nothing is explained, but does it need to be? She's a devil girl who killed children, what more do you need?

Kindle ebook from Amazon

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Series Showdown: Predator vs Dark Shadows

It's an army of Predators versus a not vampire and not werewolf. Neither contestant did great, but I tend towards action over talk, and Predator has multiple authors so I may be in better luck next time.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Quagmire by James Kisner

The Quagmire 
by James Kisner
1991 Zebra

A witch uses the dark arts to sacrifice her enemies to the powers of darkness. She turns her attention to a group of kids, one of whom is the son of a fortune teller. Does a good job with the lives of the children and the miserable dead end neighborhood of drunks, cheaters, and creepers. Less so with the horror elements, most of which is taken up by the witch's brain damaged brother who keeps asking to nurse off her deformed 3rd teat.

The setup is great, but it gets a bit cute in the ending, with a couple of teen ghosts causing violent mischief and the introduction of a couple of bumbling cops.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Series Showdown: Renegade vs Jubal Cade

Renegade improves with the second installment, while Harknett's version of Jubal Cade is a mere shadow of Angus Wells'. Captain Gringo fires his Maxim machine gun from the hip as Jubal Cade is stripped to the bone by soldier ants and piranhas.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Jubal Cade 3: The Hungry Gun by Charles R. Pike

Jubal Cade 3
The Hungry Gun by Charles R. Pike (Terry Harknett)
1975 Mayflower

Cade gets on a train populated by an all female entertainment troop. Thinking one knows a clue to his wife's killer, Cade rescues them after they're captured by bandits. In almost an epilogue, there's a rushed scene of him chasing after the lead, who just happened to rob a bank and hold ranchers hostage within minutes of Cade getting to town.

Had about a quarter of the content of Days of Blood, and what was left read like a rejected Edge first draft. One of the more actively misogynistic Westerns I've read, with gang rape scenes played for laughs, and Harknett spends the last three pages of each chapter setting up his anemic puns.

From AbeBooks

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Predator: Concrete Jungle by Nathan Archer

Predator: Concrete Jungle
by Nathan Archer
Bantam 1995

Predators attack drug dealers and cops in New York City. Believing these attacks are related to the disappearance of his brother Dutch, NYPD cop John Schaefer travels to Central America for clues. He kills a Predator, is captured by a drug cartel which is attacked by Predators, and returns to New York with General Philips, who leads a secret government anti-Predator squad. Philips plans to turn Schaefer over to the Predators to avoid massive attacks on an urban population.

Schaefer escapes, and with his partner Rasche recruit and arm psychotic street gangs to fight the Predators. There's the beginnings of a massive showdown in the city streets, with cops, gangs, and the Army facing down multiple Predator ships, but the fighting just kind of stops, the Predators collect their dead, and leave.

Based on the 1989 comic with a couple of added scenes. Many of the story elements appeared later in the superior film Predator 2. Not as exciting as it should have been, the plot is iffy, and the voice is what one would expect for a comic book novelization in the 90s. In addition to constant tough guy bravado, we get constant italics to denote sarcasm. I'm so sure that's a good literary technique.

Included in the Predator Omnibus, available from Amazon.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Renegade 2: Blood Runner by Lou Cameron

Renegade/Captain Gringo 2
Blood Runner
by Lou Cameron as Ramsey Thorne
1979 Warner

Captain Gringo, Richard Walker, wakes up in a Panamanian jail after recovering from a jungle fever. After escaping, he considers his options in the country, the subject of upheaval from the foreign interest in digging the canal. He's groomed by a mysterious arms dealer, contacted by British intelligence, and meets with his old comrade in arms Gaston.

Slow going at first, until Walker is forced to flee into the jungle where he faces federal troops, gun runners, natives, and the cruel forces of nature itself, including soldier ants and piranhas. Excellent adventure, with Walker using strategy and tactics to overcome overwhelming odds.

The sex seemed more farcical in this installment, like something out of madcap 70s comedy. 

Ebook for kindle available from Amazon

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Series Showdown: Thongor vs Michael Kane

These two titles are so similar I'm already have problems distinguishing them. But when in doubt, bet on the laser toting boneless desert ghouls. Michael Kane dispatches Thongor and moves up to the finals.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Michael Kane 2: Blades of Mars aka Lord of Spiders

Michael Kane 2
Blades of Mars aka Lord of Spiders
by Michael Moorcock as Edward P. Bradbury
1965 Compact

Michael Kane returns to ancient Mars, landing on a different part of the red planet. He encounters the blue giants, who are more civilized in this area, and assists a prince to fight off invaders. They find laser wielding ghouls in a desert fortress, find an airship built by ancient advanced technology, are blown off course, fight spider men, then return to pick up the plot.

The femme fatale Horguhl from the last installment shows up and Kane uses a magic mirror to thwart her plans of domination. Strongest in episodic adventures, less so when the main plot takes over.

Paperback from Amazon