When I started to read this collection of the Rook stories, My mind drifted to the old pulp stories of Doc Savage, The Avenger, The Spider and The Shadow. The adventures in this short story collection is a fantasy lovers dream. It is a throwback to a bygone era and boy is it needed now!
I think most people have forgotten the magic that was pulp fiction works (And I don't mean the Bruce Willis/Sam Jackson/John Travolta movie). The hero in the pulps (just like the old pulp heroes) was always larger than life..the vile villains were always evil and wanted the world at its feet...the adventures were over the top, a thrill a minute..which placed the reader is on a print roller-coaster than never ended. The tales in the collection capture that thrill of yesteryear with a spark of today's fantasy. The pulp[ genre has gotten a post-modernist makeover in the shape of the Rook.
Having never been exposed myself before to the stories of The Rook. I was captured in most of the stories non-stop pace. Max Davies with his wife Evelyn are part Hammett's Thin Man, Part Eisner's Spirit with an Indiana Jones chaser on the side. Most of the authors have the styles of classic pulp works.
The first two Rook stories written By Barry Reese are worth the collection price tag. The other stories follow the lead that Reese begins/. The only story that does not fit this collection is is Onyx Raven by Mike Bullock. I am sorry Mr. Bullock but your short tale did not mesh with the other stories in this collection. It is story of the Rook but you take was off-putting to the whole collection.
If you want a collection that is jam packed action , intelligence and adventure, get the Rook and hang on for the thrills. I cannot wait until the next collection.
The Rook is a new hero pulp created by Barry Reese. The Rook fights crime and evil in the 30s and 40s (and later). Barry mixes in pulp hero, comic book & comic strip characters, along with occult horror/weird menace, and does a good job. He also adds in a love interest who will marry him (pulp heroes never do that, which is different). The Rook goes up against traditional villians, pulp superfoes, and occult horrors, and has the assistance of characters based on pulp heroes and comic book/comic strip characters (some original, other done as pastiches or homages to other characters).
The Rook is also a generational story, as Barry gives a timeline of the Rook universe, showing that the Rook's son and daughter will later take up the mantle, as will another individual in the near future. It also helps those who want to know where the stories fit in this timeline. An updated timeline is includes with each volume, so you know where the stories fit in.
This volume is something different, and something promised for a long time. This is NOT "The Rook volume whatever", this volume is a collection of new short stories of the Rook written by others, BUT all being canon. This allows for some other new pulp writers to have a go at this new and popular character.
First up is a new story by the Rook's creator, Barry Reese. This one is a sort of new take on "The Deadliest Game", but with some different elements so its not a total copy.
Next is a story by Ron Fortier (of Airship 27 fame), writing a story set in the early years of the Rook's career.
Then we have a story by Bobby Nash (new pulp author). A decent story, with The Rook going up against an arsonist in Atlanta, but after all the supernatural-based stories, its overshadowed.Read more ›
This is a tough one for me to review because I love the character and some stories in it, but was a little disappointed by the rest. The book is made up of stories about the neo-pulp character created by Barry Reese, the Rook. In it, for the first time, Reese has invited a number of other authors working in the 30s/40s action hero genre to join him in crafting stories about the character. Unfortunately, those stories are a bit of a mixed bag. Some are very good (such as the ones by Reese himself, Bobby Nash and Percival Constantine), some are decent and a couple are real stinkers.
Tales of the Rook is a decent offering that hardcore fans of the previous "Rook" volumes should enjoy.
This review is going to be somewhat shadowed as I don't want to give away anything, since I was obviously one of the first to read it. The book was wonderfully done by a cast of talented writers who are not named Barry Reese. Barry decided to allow some different spins to be done on his character, and what came about was a bunch of great stories, that spin and cast the rooks( plural) yes, into a wide range of Rook Time lines and scenarios. I have no qualms about giving a review even though I was part of the project, because as you have seen from past reviews, I have read all of the Rook projects. I will though keep you from knowing any details, which I feel is prudent. I as said have read all the Rook books and this one ranks right up at the top, this being because of the different and unique styles that come about from using multiple writers. You instantly get a feel of how much the character is genuinely liked by the writers who put forth a great effort at writing gripping and action packed stories. Thst in itself has to make Barry Reese proud. Don't wait to hear about it from your friends, get yourself a copy and read it now.