Gabriel Hunt is a new adventure hero who busts loose in Hunt At the Well of Eternity. When I first found out about the series and got an eyeful of Glen Orbik’s beautiful artwork, I knew I had to give these books a try. I grew up on Doc Savage and Tarzan, lost worlds and jungle adventures. Oh yeah, and the idea of scantily dressed babes strolling through all of it.
Although I was excited about the series, I kept my expectations firmly in check. I wasn’t anticipating the recreation of the wheel or a new adventure template no one had seen before. I just wanted a two-fisted adventurer, a damsel or two to save, and some unknown or vaguely charted landscape to play in.
Hunt At the Well of Eternity provides all of these things and kept me turning pages two evenings in a row. Hunt is a serviceable character at this point, though I would like to know more about him, his relationship with his brother, the Hunt Foundation, as well as the mystery surrounding his parents’ disappearance eight years ago. Hopefully those things will be developed as the initial six books of the series jumps from the starting gate.
I enjoyed the way the tale was laid out, starting with action and continuing to follow Raymond Chandler’s old saw about dropping in a man with a gun when the pace needed to pick up. The book does whip through New York, Florida, and into South America at a blistering gallop.
Each of the first six books are going to be written by different authors, and it’ll be interesting to see how each author handles the stories as well as the characters. James Reasoner, veteran novelist of Westerns, military history, and many other books, steps up to the plate with this one.
Reasoner does a fine job of introducing his plot and getting the chase into motion, and he throws a few hanging curveballs from time to time as well. I enjoyed the bits of history that he threw in, those nearly all of it is from the Americas and not from Europe or Asia. Happily, during the course of this novel I discovered that Gabriel Hunt has indeed been to those places and will more than likely go again.
However, the history hanging the action together may be thinner than Dan Brown and Steve Berry fans are used to. Hunt chases after a mysterious Confederate flag and the general that carried it into battle – then disappeared after the Civil War ended.
The action, though, is good and constant, and will up the ante for Brown fans who want more bang for their buck. Think of the book as a great B movie and I think you’ll be happy. I know I was, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.