- File Size: 729 KB
- Print Length: 248 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 153530376X
- Publication Date: April 18, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FZ4OPI4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,236 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Hard Luck Hank: Screw the Galaxy Kindle Edition
|Length: 248 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Besides, Hank much prefers to fix things without violence and functioning as a negotiator. OK, he's not a labor relations grad of the Wharton School, but Hank has qualities much better suited to the context in which he works: really good intuition. Much as other folks in Belaville, the Colmarian city in which he lives, Hank is a mutant, level-four in his case. Being a mutant of whatever level is a mixed blessing. After all, my great grandmother could out run hulking Hank, but then Hank is five or six times older. Super-human longevity is one of Hank's mutant traits, so when he says he's had hundreds of years' experience to acquire the intuition that makes him a good negotiator, you can take him at his word.
My characterization of Hank is a noir sci-fi super-hero. I love noir, and it's important to recognize the modifying effect that noir has on sci-fi and super-heroes. If you're a fan of noir or have just a passing familiarity with that genre, you know that noir guys, though they may be tougher than a glutton's stack of nickel steaks, are deeply imperfect and couldn't be clean-cut if they tried, which they don't. Noir guys are tough, but not so tough that they can't be hurt. After a lengthy, bruising, busting, bashing, hanging-on-for-dear-life, Belaville-saving encounter with a Dredel Led robot, mediated by a giant alien named Wallow, Hank becomes a city-wide celebrity and a person of enormous influence, but he also spends more than a month in a hospital in a coma. Like I said, as super heroes go, sci-fi or otherwise, Hank is imperfect.
Later Hank pretty much repeats this performance when he tries to use his great-great-great-great grandfather's Ontakian pistol to shoot another robot and the mysteriously powerful pistol blows up in his hand. Another month in a coma, and this time he comes out of it with a permanent limp, making him even slower than he was before. He likes the three green scars the exploding pistol left on his face; he says they give him character. Besides, they're something entirely new: Hank's skin is so tough that he's never before been scratched. Shoot him in the face with a .357 magnum and the bullet just sticks there, and he can pluck it out with nary a blemish.
Hank drinks a lot, gambles a lot, eats a lot, and sleeps when others give him some peace. It's sort of sad (I won't say pathetic) though, to see him trying to climb three fights of stairs in the company of Garm, the gorgeous and corrupt-through-and-through official who heads up what passes for the law and order establishment in Belaville. Hank huffs and puffs, sweats and squirms, and they decide it's best to take the elevator. Hank is super-tough, super-strong, street-wise, and noir to the core. As a super hero, though, his short-comings sometimes make us groan with embarrassment. But not that often.
Though basically a loner, Hank has a varied and sundry assortment of mutant friends and acquaintances of differing levels to whom he can turn for advice, counsel, and delfiblinium. (You'll see!) Though the friends and acquaintances usually do their best, they're just as imperfect as Hank: they'll give him what he needs, but it usually comes, inadvertently, with things he doesn't need that turn out to be troublesome. You know: solve one problem while creating another.
This review has been all about Hard Luck Hank. I probably like him too much, but as far as I'm concerned Hank is the story. Steven Campbell writes quite well, has a great sense of humor, and only occasionally strays into territory implausible by the standards of good quality sci-fi. Moreover, he manages, to maintain reader interest throughout a fairly long book, and he neatly ties together events that, at first look, seem unrelated or misleadingly inconsequential.
First and foremost, though, he's created a new super hero. A bit like Mickey Roark in Sin City, but smarter, smoother, better connected, tougher, stronger, slower afoot, a bit less cynical, funnier, and more appealing to women. After readers have finished Hard Luck Hank, I hope that many will agree that we've definitely got a new and different super hero, one who will resurrect noir or, if you prefer, neo-noir, raising it to a new level of sophistication with a really dynamite noir character. "Screw the Galaxy!", and bless author Steven Campbell.
About the book. I don't like to get near spoilers so I'll just refer you to the description of the book or any of the many wonderful reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.com. With that said...
Hank is a character you'll remember as well as you might recall Ender Wiggins, but for different reasons. In an odd sort of way he is a space opera Forrest Gump thug like fellow of indestructible make up. I love this character. I'll be zipping through all Steven Campbell has written in this Hard Luck Hank universe jumping well over 500 books on my “to read” list.
Like all good books, it is hard to put down. Always something, usually disastrous of some amplitude, and you're hearing of it directly from first person point of view, hard luck “Hank”, a “voice” that is endearing and seemingly unintentionally humorous. Yeah, you're going to like Hank and likely laugh at him at some point... probably for some slap-stick, Three Stooges kind of bad luck. I also loved the well imagined 'aliens' and various mutants that were expertly described.
If you want a somewhat lite and humorous quick read break from Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones), or Outlander type series, pick up this book.
The first book of a series is always difficult. You are introducing characters and their world. Sci-fi is even harder, as you are generally introducing multiple worlds, if not galaxies. So while the story is a bit simplistic and the ending comes as a bit of an explanation rather than an explosion; it is a fun romp through the criminal underbelly of a space station on the outskirts of space.
I will definitely be checking out the next book in the series.
Hank is not deep, not introspective, but reminds me of the hooker with a heart of gold. He has no great plans, he just wants to keep the status quo, but events unfold that thrust him into a key position to influence the future of his environment. He pretty much likes everyone (it seems) even if he is supposed to kill them or they him.
It's difficult to do physical damage to him, so he is a great negotiator when tempers flare. It seems he always has a cool head.
If you are a person that gets irritated when the laws of physics are ignored, this is not your book. But, if you can read and enjoy without science as we know it obeyed, Excellent Read.