Thursday, January 13, 2022

Hook 2: The Boosted Man by Tully Zetford

Hook 2
The Boosted Man 
by Tully Zetford (Kenneth Bulmer)
1974 New English Library

Ryder Hook takes a shuttle down to a planet, only to find the inhabitants attacked by a fungus that makes their eyes droop out of their sockets. The shuttle turns around, only to be refused landing by the mothership. Hook crash lands on a supposedly uninhabited planet to find a thriving industrial planet, rich in culture. Hook and his co-passengers find themselves working their days at cushy, well-paying jobs directing robots and spending their nights in fancy restaurants and going to the opera.

This is, of course, all an illusion. Slaves toil in radioactive factories, lulled into complacency by hypnotic generators. Hook snaps out of it due to his connection to the boosted men. Hook is a cyborg, but only had part of the procedure completed. He's capable of speeds so fast that time stops still and his clothes catch on fire, but his partial powers only kick in if he's in proximity to another, more powerful boosted man.

This leads to some interesting story devices. Hook doesn't know where the boosted men are or where they are, and if he dispatches them too quickly or moves too far away he'll lose his power and even be overwhelmed by the illusion. Hook has to figure out a way off the planet, rescuing a couple allies he's met, while being chased by security forces and hiding from the invincible boosted men.

This one was less violent and more light-hearted than the first installment, with Hook spending much of his time running around in hyper-speed naked bonking guards on the head. Great fun, and can only complain that it didn't get more mileage out of it's clever plot devices.

Paperback from Amazon

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