Kraken Rising (Alex Hunter #6) ★★★☆ ½

krakenrising (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kraken Rising
Series: Alex Hunter #6
Author: Greig Beck
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 449
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The Chinese try to kidnap Alex’s son. They fail. The Chinese are “secretly” mining in Antarctica and come across a signal from a long lost sub that was an American stealth prototype. They send in their version of Elite Special Forces and also send warships. The Americans aren’t going to let them steal even more technology and send in Alex Hunter and then another HAWC’s team AND warships.

World War 3, with nukes, is about to happen.

Aimee Weir knows what’s under the ice and she is supposed to guide the HAWC’s team. Alex is on his own and the Chinese Special Forces have NO idea what they are in for. The mimic from Under the Dark Ice isn’t dead, isn’t stupid and it wants to play with its food. Eventually, all the survivors band together and flee in the missing sub. The kraken follows and fights the chinese fleet. They destroy it but are so hurt that they can’t stand up to the American fleet. Everyone goes home. Just like that. Really.

Alex and Aimee and their son are all reunited and the glimmer of a family life for all 3 is possible.

The End of the Series.

 

My Thoughts:

This series comes full circle. In the first book Alex Hunter meets Aimee Weir and the monster under the ice and they barely escape with their lives. This time around they have something to live for, namely, their son.

My biggest complaint was how stupid 2 of the characters acted. The leader of the Chinese Special Forces was such a fanatic that everything was an American plot meant to trick him, somehow. He was almost a caricature instead of a viable human threat. The other problem character was one of the HAWC’s who won’t take orders from Casey and constantly questions her and undermines her. The HAWC’s are supposed to be the Special Forces of the Special Forces and this guy comes across as a green marine just out of boot camp with a huge chip on his soldier. I can’t see Jack Hammerson allowing someone like that into his elite unit.

Really good fights and some “old favorites” of the monster variety. The black worms that eat you from the inside out make a dramatic visit and were probably more memorable to me this time around than the kraken.

The overall plot wasn’t as lean or taut as some of the others and while nothing felt like padding per se, there were times that some movements/actions/descriptions felt unnecessary.

This book ends on such a note that it could be considered the end of the series. While there might be future Alex Hunter or Son books, this was a good place for me to end. Beck hasn’t written any new Alex Hunter books since this and has written other books in other series, so I suspect his interest in this character is done. It is always better to wrap things up while they’re still fresh than to let them sit and stink like a week old fish.

★★★☆ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. Hammer of God (Book 5.5)
  2. Gorgon (Book 5)
  3. Black Mountain (Book 4)
  4. This Green Hell (Book 3)
  5. Dark Rising (Book 2)
  6. Beneath the Dark Ice (Book 1)
  7. Arcadian Genesis (Book 0)
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Hammer of God (Alex Hunter #5.5) ★★★☆☆

hammer (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Hammer of God
Series: Alex Hunter #5.5
Author: Greig Beck
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 115
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Someone has access to multi-kiloton nuclear bombs [of the size and type to be able to wipe out Jerusalem]. They also have access to beings of unhumanness that can carry these bombs to wherever they are needed to go, without stopping, without food, without water, without detection and without being susceptible to gun fire.

Israel will not stand for such a threat to exist without striking back. But even their special forces can’t deal with giants who apparently can’t die because they’re already dead. Enter the HAWC’s, led by Alex Hunter.

Now, the combined forces, that are both disavowable by their respective countries, must find the terrorists who are creating these nukes and the alchemist who is creating the undead carriers. It comes down to Alex Hunter, the Arcadian, to take down a thousands year old alchemist who wants to rule the world while inhabiting Hunter’s superior body.

Yeah, like the Arcadian is going to let THAT happen.

 

My Thoughts:

As I was reading this near the beginning, I thought this would make a great full length novel. At 115 pages, it is a pretty good novella. Near the end I changed my mind and was glad it was as short as it was. While these books are never studies in character development, this felt particularly card-boardy.

There is a difference between telling a good story and telling an engaging story. An engaging story utilizes all aspects of the authorial craft whereas a good story can follow a formula, cut a few corners and still keep your interest. This was a good story.

I have to admit, I have been hoping that after this many books and this much writing experience, that Beck would have learned a bit more about writing characters. In many ways, Beck reminds of the likes of Christopher Stasheff or even Robert Asprin. Both are solid B level writers but they never rose above that. I am beginning to think that Beck has found his level and will never get any better. I’m not going to stop reading these Alex Hunter books, mind you, but I’ll be adjusting my expectations accordingly.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

  1. Gorgon (Book 5)
  2. Black Mountain (Book 4)
  3. This Green Hell (Book 3)
  4. Dark Rising (Book 2)
  5. Beneath the Dark Ice (Book 1)
  6. Arcadian Genesis (Book 0)

Arcadian Genesis (Alex Hunter #0) ★★★☆ ½

arcadian (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 
Title:       Arcadian Genesis
Series:    Alex Hunter #0
Author:   Greig Beck
Rating:    3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre:     SF
Pages:     79
Format:  Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

An item is uncovered in Russia. It appears to be a source of unlimited power. The Russians are working on it and discover it is an incubator, not a power source. In the process, they bring on board a scientist, who used to be a Chechnian whose family was killed by the Russians. Said scientist steals the power source and contacts the United States, all to spit in the eye of the country that killed his family. What he doesn’t know is that by removing the power source, the creatures inside begin to awake and grow.

Alex Hunter is sent on a mission with a team of HAWC’s to recover the scientist. The HAWC’s run into a Russian team who are also intent on recovering the scientist. Hunter gets shot in the head, but the bullet first passes through the alien device. In a comatose state, Hunter is prepped for a super soldier project, codenamed Arcadian, that “might” save his life.

Thus begins the legend of Alex Hunter, the Arcadian.

 

My Thoughts:

I waited to read this prequel for a some time, just because I wasn’t sure when it was published, and was too lazy to look it up, and didn’t want anything revealed that might impact future books. In all honesty, this would be a good place to start with Alex Hunter, even before Beneath the Dark Ice. Nothing is spoiled and it does a good job of showing exactly how things worked out to make Alex a working Arcadian.

As a short story/novella, this has just the right amount of action, tension and drama. It is on par with the other Alex Hunter books. Not much else to say really.

★★★☆ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. Beneath the Black Ice
  2. Dark Rising
  3. This Green Hell
  4. Black Mountain
  5. Gorgon

Gorgon (Alex Hunter #5)

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 This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything and links at Booklikes, Goodreads & GoRead by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 

 

 

Title: Gorgon
Series: Alex Hunter #5
Author: Greig Beck
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 414
Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Alex Hunter is wandering the United States, with huge gaps in his memory and dispensing vigilante justice against lowlifes who cross his path. At the same time, he is stalking his former love interest Aimee and it turns out she has a son and is in a relationship with some other man. Hammerson brings Alex back into the HAWC fold and with some new doctors, helps Alex get most of his memory back. However, his rages are even worse and it is questionable whether he can perform in the field without losing control.

Meanwhile in Turkey, an antiques thief lets loose an ancient myth, a gorgon, which is only too real. With whole villages being turned to stone, the HAWC’s are sent in to deal with this problem. The Russians want a piece of the action as well and send in a specialist team led by the man who Alex has fought on and off for quite some time.

Everything comes to a climactic conclusion deep underground in some caves in Greece. And by climactic conclusion I mean, aliens, mech armor, explosives, high technology and a serious fight that only a few walk away from.

 

My Thoughts: Spoilers

One: Alex has a kid by Aimee and said child has inherited Alex’s superpowers?

Two: Aliens?

Come on everybody, roll those eyes with me! And a one, and a two and roll them both now.

This was a fun read with a lot of action. If you’ve liked the previous Alex Hunter books, then you’ll definitely like this one. I have to say that on the character side of things, I am liking Jack Hammerson more and more. He reminds me, in spirit, of George Hammond from Stargate. Hammerson is a former HAWC and Hammond was a balding, portly fellow but in their care of their soldiers, they are twins. I also tend to picture Hammerson talking and acting like Hammond did.

Alex is still the messed up soldier and now he’s gotten even more reasons to be worried. We’ll see how the author, Beck, handles the whole superkid thing. I’m really hoping he doesn’t go down the Soap Opera path. Last thing we need is a “Super Family in Hiding”. Not to be to coarse, but since Alex knows he can pass along his abilities, he should start fathering the Super Race. Sperm banks for sure and possibly a harem. Kind of like Solomon. Come on Alex, it’s for the good of the entire world!

The whole gorgon thing was a bit farfetched, but considering we’ve had vampires from space, prehistoric monsters and the like, I guess upon reflection it really isn’t that far off base. But seriously, an alien ship harvesting humans that crashed?

star35full-custom

bookstooge

  1. Review of Book One
  2. Review of Book Two
  3. Review of Book Three
  4. Review of Book Four

Black Mountain (Alex Hunter #4)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Black Mountain
Series: Alex Hunter #4
Author: Greig Beck
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 312
Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:  Spoilers

Alex Hunter has recovered physically while in Israel. Unfortunately, his mind has not and he can’t remember who he is or who anyone else is either. Upon realizing he has been lied to and with some of his powers returning, Alex returns to the United States seeking out his mother.

At the same time, “Something” has come out of the Black Mountain and people are missing. Matt Kearns, a scientist from the first book, is roped into investigating.

One Night. One Black Mountain. Many disparate and dangerous groups. And one monster. All come together in one explosive orgy of violence and death.

 

My Thoughts: Spoilers

This was fun, and probably more so because Alex Hunter isn’t as big a part of things. That does seem to be the formula Beck likes. Ramp the tension up and THEN bring in the Arcadian.

There were a lot of different threads here. Alex and Israeli Commando Lady. Scientist Matt and his pals and the cops. Mossad Hit Squad going after Alex and Lady. HAWC’s commander Hammerson seeking out Alex and Lady. Cops seeking out the lost people. A slightly successful version of the Arcadian formula being field tested against Alex. And then the monster/s killing people, taking people, eating people. It all worked together pretty good and I never felt like POV was ever too short or too long. It was a skillfully woven tapestry of a story.

It did have it’s eye rolling moments though.

The monsters have supposedly been underground for 13,000 years living by the light of lichens and they’re just acclimating to the light fine and being super de dooper killers? Guns have little effect on their hides but knives stop them? They don’t blink at modern tech at all or feel confusion at it? Finally, the whole “oh, they’re not really the bad guys, we just treated them badly” bullshit. That turned my stomach.

Then there is the people side of things.

One of the scientists with Matt refuses to go into the cave but then they find the boot of a missing little girl and suddenly said scientist can’t be stopped from going in and all they have is a hand gun? Cops disobeying direct orders from the Chief of Police, to his face?

Some of the good stuff. The 3 experiments of the Arc-044 formula. They’re as strong as Alex and even more determined but completely gone round the bend and literally rotting away. Super soldiers indeed. We’ll definitely be seeing more of them. Alex and another HAWC fighting the bigfoots. That was just cool. Alex taking out a group of terrorists in Egypt before coming to the U.S. He throws a terrorist out a window, who has explosives strapped to his body, and shoots him so he blows up in the air, 3 stories up. Now is that cool or what?

By the end of the book though, Alex is wanted by the Israeli’s and the United States more as a lab specimen than anything else. He disappears but I wonder how he’ll survive on his own or if Hammerson will covertly supply him. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

star30full-custom

This Green Hell (Alex Hunter #3)

8ce96bdc8d1486cac86f0aedc601ef13This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: This Green Hell

Series: Alex Hunter

Author: Greig Beck

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Action/Adventure

Pages: 308

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

An inimical alien lifeform has come to Earth, 400 years ago. Now it waits to be set free and to take over.

Aimee is still on the search for the perfect fuel. She thinks she might have found it in a new natural gas reserve that has old microbrial thingamajigs that do “Science”. So of course it is the inimical Life Form and Green Berets are wiped out so Alex Hunter and Crew are sent in. The Life Form has grown, using a human host, into what is pretty much a vampire and more than a match for Alex.

A CDC scientist tags along because everyone thinks the Lifeform is just a new disease. And she has a nuke, just in case.

 

My Thoughts:

I had to downgrade this half a star from the previous book because there were several instances of things not being logical and simply not making sense. I can’t remember what those instances were, but they made an impression.

Aimee’s inclusion into the story wasn’t something that I particularly enjoyed either. And then at the end to have her think that Hunter was killed by the virus was just wrong. The Israeli Special Forces lady who ends up taking charge of Hunter’s frozen body is not nice and I’m not sure what her future in these stories are. I hope it is a small role.

Ton of fighting and stuff, which redeems most of the issues I had.

Dark Rising (Alex Hunter #2)

97850e4513ce725cc3a1bddc0f3ea057This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: Dark Rising

Series: Alex Hunter

Author: Greig Beck

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Action/Adventure

Pages: 303

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

An Iranian secret nuclear test group accidentally opens a black hole, which if controlled, would give Iran unlimited power. Since the President of Iran is an insane power monger who is convinced that he is the 12th Imam and he’ll use this technology to destroy the world, Alex Hunter and the HAWK’s are sent in.

Along with them are 2 Israeli’s. One a Super Mossad Agent, the other a genius who might be able to figure out how to shut down a black hole.

And when humanity looks into the void, of course, something is looking back!

 

My Thoughts:

This was a good action/thriller with just a touch of horror.

Hunter being experimented on and his existence being fought over was an eye opener. He might be a super-soldier, but enough scientists would rather carve him up. He’s certainly not living the dream.  Factor in that he and Aimee [lady from the last book] break up because of his rages and night terrors and you get a picture of a guy who almost literally lives to work.

The desert setting of Iran wasn’t as enjoyable as Antarctica, but I certainly liked the monster drawn forth from the blackhole. A giant, semi-intelligent, bed bug that eats people. How can you beat that? Make it faster and more dangerous than even Alex Hunter and you up the “tense” factor.

The earth being almost destroyed by a madman was pretty cool too. The old title of this book was The Return of the Prophet. It certainly makes sense and yet even I’m PC enough to understand why Beck changed it to a more innocuous sounding title.

Even though I rated this the same as the previous book, I enjoyed it more. Part of that was that Hunter is more of a main character instead of just a killing machine. Also, there was very little to no romance. Which after his little dustup with Aimee, seems only wise. Potential, but not actualized.