Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

Ralph Angelo has given Monster Aces a Five-Star review on Amazon.com – here’s what he had to say:

Monster Aces, a new book by four of the best and most well-known authors in New Pulp is a just released book of tales concerning an oft forgotten or downplayed area of pulp fiction, Monsters. Creatures that frighten us with their unknown powers and lack of humanity. Things that are out of the norm and seemingly only of nightmares that play out behind closed eyelids. Horrifying beings that no sane man would ever want to encounter let alone seek out or hunt.

And yet that is exactly what the Monster Aces do. They hunt out and seek to destroy those things that go bump in the night. The Monster Aces are a team of four people with a fifth unofficial member (Sixth if you count the pilot of their boat, who never sees action.) The mysterious grey haired man known only as The Cap’n is their leader. Digger is their strong man and hand to hand fighter as well as stealth expert, or commando. Gats is a weapons master and marksman, always armed with more then a few guns, a steady hand and perfect eye. Joker rounds out the main team. He’s the smooth talker. The one who soothes the crowds nerves as well as gets the ladies notice wherever he goes. He is the group’s mouthpiece or public affairs officer. He deals with the aspects of their missions others can’t. The last member of the team is an unofficial one. Her name is Trill. She’s a small, pretty girl with certain psychic abilities that are not clearly determined, but her usefulness is always welcome, even begrudgingly so as it is most of the time, by The Cap’n.

The Monster Aces travel the globe in search of Monsters that seek to destroy mankind for whatever reasons, be they hunger for human flesh, or the simple reason to do evil for its own sake.
Within this tome you will find five stories featuring the Monster Aces facing off against different creatures. All horrifying in one way or another. Jim Beard, (Also known as the author of `Sgt. Janus’, and `Captain Action’) the series creator has two stories within this volume, the first one and the last. There is also one story each by Barry Reese (`The Rook’, `Lazarus Grey’) , Van Allen Plexico (`Hawk’, `The Sentinels’) and Ron Fortier (`Captain Hazard’, `The Pulptress’, `Brother Bones’ etc.) each lend their unique voices to the Monster Aces collection with tales of things that go bump in the night.

Each tale is well crafted and draws you into the almost mythical world of the late 1930’s where each story takes place. Each story has its own flavor, its own unique account of what goes on in the monster hunters lives. It’s hard to pick a favorite as all are engrossing and, as you would expect with a word like “Monster” in its name, fun. But for me the last two stories stood out as `true’ monster tales and were to me at least the most memorable. The last simply because it featured two very familiar monsters in a never before seen situation that brought a smile to my face while reading it.

That being said though, there are no clunkers in this volume. Each tale has more then enough fun factor within its pages to lock the reader in for the full ride. It is an excellent book focused on a different genre then most of New Pulp usually is. The concept alone makes giving this a read more then worthwhile.

Special mention to Ron Fortier’s “The Ghoul” story for the use of a Brough Superior Motorcycle as Trill’s mode of transportation. Being a motorcycle enthusiast and instructor myself I got a big kick out of that scene.

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