Grant Gardiner's Reviews > The Myth Hunter

The Myth Hunter by Percival Constantine
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's review
Sep 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: bought, blogged

*Pulp Warning* All of my e-reading skews towards the pulpy side of the prose spectrum. As such, my reviews are pulp skewed. Reader beware :) *Pulp Warning*

Overall: 4 stars.

The Myth Hunter is the pilot episode for what could be a very strong pulp series. It's a cinematic piece of modern tomb raiding e-pulp that moves along at a cracking pace. It is unapolegetically pulp. But it would hope to cut back on the exposition, add some more unique elements and give the characters more depth if the rest of the series is to really capture an audience. But at $1 on Kobo and the potential for a really fun series in the works I think it's well worth checking out to see for yourself.

Pacing and Action: 4 stars. (3 stars if you have no intention of reading further stories in the series)

This story moves at a truly cracking pace. With its frantic jetsetting, exotic weapon laced fights and several different sets of bad guys all crammed into a rather modest page count the action never stops. And it has a real cinematic feel to it that is crisp and clear with larger than life action never being marred by unnecessary detail.
Until we're set to learn something new about each character. Chalk it up to first story cobwebs or something but the story throws the reader straight into the deep end of the action (which is good) but then makes up for the frenetic start by regularly stopping for exposition heavy dialogue between various characters concerning either the next important plot point, or the way they knew each other back in the day and what they were like. In any other story the level of exposition is fine but in a story moving this fast 'fine' is slow.
But this is most definitely pulp fast. And pulp fast is good.
Oh, and the end is a little anti-climactic. It would suggest that there's a bigger story in play, which is good for a series, but it would be a little annoying if you were only interested in reading this one story in the series.

Pulp Concept: 3 stars.

The unapolegetic, big-picture zaniness is there and the use of unique elements like the Japanese mythology is very well done. The concept of the myth hunters also works with a great showdown between more than a few parties making the story even crazier. But the let down is that a lot of the story feels like a poor knock off of Tomb Raider, right down to the lack lustre imitation Lara Croft. Imitation isn't a problem in pulp - in fact resuing cool ideas is kind've encouraged - but the end result should be something unique. A failure to do so leads to fan fiction. The Myth Hunter rarely feels like anything less than a Tomb Raider clone, one that adds little to the idea, whether it be the characters or the way in which the internal logic of the world operates. As a first episode in the series it may be working up to those points of difference but there was little to foreshadow such a thing in this book.

Characters and Development: 3 stars.

Fairly two dimensional. As I said above, the lead is a Lara Croft knock off and the rest of the cast are fairly cliched Bond villains or henchmen. There's a few mythical characters who give themselves a point of difference but they never really get beyond superficial motivation etc. The story is very cinematic but the problem with typing out a movie is that you lose the storytelling the actors bring to the movie. And while these characters told you a lot about themselves and each other they were never really convincing. Something you can fix in a series but it certainly wan't satisfying in this particular episode.

Production: 5 stars.

Very good production. Properly editted and well set out, there was nothing to take away from the story. The cover also stands out even if it communicates little about the story within. A very professional product that would suggest you can trust the author to always provide a well crafted e-book.
But the really outstanding part? $1 on Kobo as I bought it. That's a pulp price if ever I saw one. It also means that you have no reason not to try it for yourself. Probably makes it hard to make a living for the author but at that price the first issue can be a guilt free experiment. If you don't like you haven't lost anything from the experience. And with the high production values you won't have wasted your time. A very very good thing.

Series Potential: 4 stars.

And here's the rub. With its fast, exciting start and the general mythology of the world set up this could be one hell of a pulp series. The exposition is out of the way, the bad guys and the general conspiracy are explained, and the whole Tomb Raider clone concept has been well established. Now we can get on with the rest of the series, where all the weaknesses of this particular episode can be addressed. And, with a sequel already out (Dragon Kings of the Orient) I'll be sure to check it out to see if this be the case.
But, if these things aren't addressed and the series continues with the same shallow characterisation and 'Tomb Raider lite' concept then it will not rise above fan fiction and that would be a shame.

Wrap up.

At such a cheap price this series is well worth a look if you're in any way interested in this whole e-pulp thing. You'll definitely get your money's worth and a fun, fast read that could lead to a new pulp series to follow. Check it out.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Percival (new) - added it

Percival Constantine Thanks for the honest and constructive review, Grant. I'm glad that overall you enjoyed the book and I will definitely keep in mind your comments about the characterization. Dragon Kings of the Orient was actually finished before the publication of The Myth Hunter, and went through a lot more scrutiny in the revision phase, so I hope it addresses some of the issues you found.

Grant Gardiner No worries mate. It was a fun read and good value. I've been wanting to get back to Dragon Kings to see how it develops but I've been trying to get through at least one review each for the New Pulp authors on the Best of New Pulp list. The list keeps getting longer and my to-read pile bigger and bigger. Hopefully I'll make it to the end and then be able to start on 'issue 2s'.

PS You should go over to the list and vote for your own stuff and anything else you like there. Don't be modest :)

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