Wayne Reinagel is the king of the New Pulp epic. He writes frenetic action scenes that smack of classic pulp but these sequences are nestled in between chapters that go in-depth into the history of the pulp publishing industry, the golden age of comics and so many pastiches and nods to both classic fictional characters and real-life personages that your head will be left spinning!
This book is a whopping 781 pages plus a lengthy timeline. It features hardboiled detectives, outer space action and finally reveals who murdered The Black Dahlia. It is audacious and stunning. The only thing that keeps it from being a 5-star is that sometimes the wink-wink-nudge-nudge cameos and pastiches seem a little off-putting and distracting — in a narrative that spirals outward as much as this one does, that can impede your enjoyment.
Highly recommended – but make sure you’ve read the previous books in the series first!
FunTony is back! This time he’s commenting on the second Gravedigger book. Here’s his review:
Charity Grace is back as Gravedigger and still kicking ass ! Once more Barry Reese has Gravedigger battling bad guys and more unsavory foes from the paranormal ! Reese seems to have a good handle on the other worldly villains, giving us a glimpse on how normal humans can open portals and try to engage these entities for their own greed ( Maybe a more detailed glimpse is lacking so we don’t try the same thing by accident ? ) Never fear though Gravedigger lives up to her name and puts an end to them one after the other, not only working to save her soul but her humanity as well and become the better person her 2nd chance has offered. I truly love the fact that while he has multiple series going we do not have cookie cutter characters on the side of either the good guys or the bad guys. You can tell he has put forth a lot of effort in creating each character, even the villains. Can’t wait for Volume 3 in the Gravedigger series or the Next Lazarus Gray ! Done with those then dive into the Peregrine series ! All are 5 star adventures !
Thanks so much, Tony! I appreciate the time you put into your reviews and love your insights!
ChickJ returns with a look at the first Peregrine Omnibus. Here’s what he had to say:
Wow! I have same feeling when I first read The Meteor Menace(My first Doc Savage)
I like his Lazarus Gray series and the Gravedigger. The side character Peregrine I didn’t really care for in those books but I like his writing (Barry Reese) and wanted to read his whole universe. So I decided to start with his first series. (Originally he called the character The Rook but changed the name.)
Wow! His first stories, Lucifer’s Cage, Kingdom of Blood, made me feel like when I first read The Meteor Menace. (My first Doc Savage and that was a very long time ago). Where his later tales were like eating chips, this one had meat on it bones. And believe me when you read The Black Mass you will be chasing every book to find out what happens.
If you are a true pulp fan this series is for you. Tell your friends and anyone else who will listen. Thank you Barry for bring back the old fun feeling of pulp. (I also the way old time pulp characters make cameos.)
Thanks very, very much! I’m really touched by your words and appreciate that you took the time to post the review!
ChickJ has posted a 4-star review of The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six. Let’s see what he had to say:
I really like all the Lazarus Grays books. ( I thought I had written this review but couldn’t find it posted.) There are a couple stories in this book. Each one is a quick read and enjoyable. The first one The Affair of the Familiar Corpse is very good. You find out what happens after the death of Lazarus Gray in the last book. Just grab your favorite armchair with a cup of coffee and have a great action fun read. Can’t think of a better way to enjoy a rainy afternoon.
Thanks for the kind words – rainy day reads are what I try to specialize in!
FunTony47 returns, posting reviews on Amazon.com of The Peregrine Omnibus Volume One, The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six and The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume One.
First up is the 5-star review of The Peregrine:
The Peregrine brings to mind other vigilantes of Pulp’s great era like The Shadow. He is driven by the senseless death of his father and by the visions forced into his mind by his dead father. He is much more of a loner at the start but soon builds a network of friends and even a wife to help him in his journey against the evil of mankind. Some authors of multiple book series have kind of a formula and reading them it can seem like all they did was change names and tweak a story, Barry Reese is not that kind of author. The Peregrine is totally different from Lazarus Gray and the Gravedigger. You can feel the love he has for Pulp’s bygone heyday and his characters evoke the feel of the greats from that time while being totally unique ! I can’t wait to dive into Vol 2 and the rest of the Peregrine’s adventures.
Here’s what he had to say about Lazarus Gray 6:
After reading Gotterdammerung I thought Lazarus Gray was finished ! Vanquished at the hands of a mighty foe that brought together The Peregrine, Gravedigger, Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited as well as others to save not just Sovereign city but the world, I had thought maybe Assistance Unlimited might continue under a new head. I should have realized his new wife, the former Kelly Emmerson, would not allow Lazarus to Rest In Peace ! Thanks to her effort as well as Assistance Unlimited, Lazarus returns from torment in Hell to lead his friends in the battle against evil !
And here’s his review of the first Gravedigger adventure:
So I had made my way through Barry’s great Lazarus Gray series and needed something to fill the void. Figured I would dive into Gravedigger and enjoyed the stories immensely ! First let’s get it out of the way, Gravedigger is female. Not a damsel in distress female either but an ass kicking, sword wielding badass who is out to save not only her soul but humanity as well ! Charity Grace is the latest in a very long line of Gravediggers and the first female. She has just 3 years to redeem her soul from eternal damnation. Apparently redeeming one’s soul means kicking bad guy’s butts and slicing off their heads! We get plenty of action as Barry delves not only into her backstory but the story of Gravediggers of the past. ( I for one would love to see stories of multiple Gravediggers from the past ! Maybe they are in the works ? One can only hope ) Set in the same city as the Lazarus Gray books, Sovereign, Charity has ample opportunity to kick some serious tush ! Loved the stories and can’t wait for more (Already into Vol 2!)
Thanks so much, Tony! I appreciate all of your feedback!
An Amazon user named “FunTony47” posted the following review on the Omnibus edition of Lazarus Gray. Let’s see what he had to say:
So there I was looking to find a new Doc Savage book in the Kindle store and I stumbled upon a recommendation for this book. Had never heard of the author or the characters but figured I would give it a shot. The result was truly amazing ! Gave up looking for more Doc Savage and started reading all of Barry’s awesome books I could get. You get the feel of the pulp thrillers of bygone ages and he pays homage to those who went before. He pulls you in with his stories and you lose yourself in the adventure. I devoured all of the Lazarus Gray books available and moved on to Gravedigger and then The Peregrine. The universe he has created is awesome and very detailed. You get the feeling it should be found on any map of the US. Sovereign City doesn’t feel like a renamed New York ala Gotham. It is truly unique and wonderful. The characters are deep and well thought out and by the end of the book they feel like a good friend.
If you are looking for a great read take a look at this and all of his fantastic works!
Thanks so much, Tony! I’m honored that you went from reading Doc Savage to enjoying my little pulp adventure universe! I hope you’ll keep reading as the various titles continue through 2017 and beyond.
Over the weekend, Bill Black – the creative force behind The Femforce and all of AC Comics – posted the following words on Facebook:
GREAT NEWS! I’ve received the first Pro Se AC Comics character prose novel – NIGHTVEIL: THE QUIET GIRLS! It is fabulously written by BARRY REESE who did an OUTSTANDING JOB! I love it and was mesmerized from beginning to end. It’s like a movie that plays in your mind as Barry’s descriptions are that vivid.
I’m beyond thrilled to know that Bill enjoyed the book. He is, after all, the guy that created Nightveil to begin with! I’ve always enjoyed the character and really wanted to get her right.
He also shared details about the cover — the rough of which you can see accompanying this post. Over on First Comics News, we got to see John Nadeau’s first version of what will eventually be the finished cover. I think it looks pretty spiffy! Once we see the completed image, I’ll be sure to share it with all of you.