Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reviews from the 86th Floor: Barry Reese Looks at The Myth Hunter

Written by Percival Constantine
ISBN 978-1461050599
Pulpwork Press
208 pages, $11.95

When one first looks at The Myth Hunter, thoughts of Tomb Raider (or even the short-lived Tia Carrere vehicle, Relic Hunter) invariably come to the fore. This isn't to suggest that the book is merely an homage to to earlier creations, though: it's just an inevitable comparison that will be made by virtually everyone who reads the book.

Elisa Hill is our "Myth Hunter" in question and she's the daughter of parents whose belief in a lost civilization led to their professional ruin. Originally seeking out treasures for profit, Elisa eventually turns to more noble callings and attracts the attention of an organization known as the Order. Former associates become enemies and Elisa is thrown into a thrilling adventure that a search for Lemuria, battles with changelings and a whole lot of by-the-seat-of-your-pants excitement.

What separates Elisa from Lara Croft and the others who came before her is that Constantine takes the time to flesh her out, showing her to be a flawed but ultimately heroic figure. She's not just your standard issue "adventuring hottie," and that works well for the book as a whole.

The growth shown between this and the previous book I reviewed by this author (Love and Bullets) is quite noticeable. With that one, there were scenes that really jumped off the page but it was tempered by creative choices that I thought brought other scenes to a screeching halt (mainly the lampoonish behavior of the main villain). There's no such worries here -- this was great fun, handled with a deft hand. I'd love to see more adventures of The Myth Hunter.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.