New Reviews

Two new reviews have gone up on Amazon. Let’s see what they had to say.

First up is Raven, with a review of Nightveil: The Quiet Girls. He gave the book 3 stars out of 5:

Bringing a comic character into prose pulp…

Laura Wright, daughter of a member of the United States Senate, is a masked heroine who originally went under the code name Blue Bulleteer, and later transitioned into Nightveil. The mystic maid is part of a group of superheroines known as the Fem-Force.

I vividly recall the Fem Force, who were ladies who fought crime dressed in clothing that left very little to the imagination. For a teenage boy, that was a draw to sell the comics. But I also remember thinking: “OK, wow, they are sexy! But they couldn’t actually fight in those costumes.” So I was a bit of a realist. So sue me.

When the Blue Bulleter became Nightveil, she actually covered more skin with the new costume. Still, she was drawn, as heroines in comic books usually are, as very sexualized.

As to this book, I have mixed emotions. I am no longer a young man, and I think this book doesn’t actually feel like it is for adults. I am sure that nostalgia will attract readers among the older generation, but it is very juvenile. It also comes across more tongue-in-cheek than serious pulp. It is neither comic book script nor prose novel, it hovers somewhere in between.

That said, I did like the idea of the Quiet Girls. To have as deadly an enemy as Baron Mort totally taken off his guard by such innocent-seeming kids is priceless! They were out and away the best part of the book!

I like Reese’s idea of writing characters that fit the timeline of the pulps. There are many out there that would fix pulp fiction very well. Nightveil could make a good fit for pulp fiction, but this book doesn’t get it for me. Sorry, Barry.

I will give the book three stars for reviving Nightveil. May further writings by Barry Reese be more in the vein of his Lazarus Gray and The Peregrine.

Quoth the Raven…

Next up is David Wellhauser, with a review of The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume One:

The Adventures of Lazarus Gray is an excellent example of neo-pulp fiction. It occasionally becomes repetitive in its use of tropes and descriptive language. Also, many of the stories are repetitive in their structure and always repetitive in their outcomes. However, having said that, the adventures of Mr. Gray are a lot of fun.

Where the book falls short is in its treatment of women. The women are basically sex objects, while some attempt to struggle against this trope they never do accomplish this. Lazarus Gray, however, is a plot-driven book and the only thing the writer seemed to be paying attention to was getting the chick next to the exploding car so the protagonist (Gray) has a reason to go after the antagonist. Nothing wrong with this, but the whole point of neo-pulp is to write against sexist and racist tropes. The racism it does a good job of working against, but not a perfect one. The Korean character in the stories is a very good example of where the author fails to write against the racist cliché. There is no animosity towards either women or people of a different race in this book, but the historical tropes are still there and not adequately dealt with.

All in all, The Adventures of Lazarus Gray were a great deal of stupid fun. If, however, you are inclined towards social justice and leftist authoritarianism you may wish to give this book a pass. Readers who are capable of understanding the genre of neo-pulp may enjoy this book quite a bit. One caveat, the stories can become repetitive in their nature. Recommendation, don’t read the book all at once. Read a story; then read another book; then come back and read another of the exciting Lazarus great adventures.

Note: small formatting issues 1. Straight quotes instead of curly 2. Left justified text when justified text is the standard…makes the reading on one’s phone less jarring.

Recommendation: four out of five stars

Fun for neo-pulp readers!