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The Rook Volume 2- Special Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Kaslov's Fire-Not only is it the first Rook story in the book, but its an introduction of a FANTASTIC character in the person of Leonid Kaslov! A bit of Doc Savage with a whole lot of Reese thrown in and Barry does it again with the supporting characters, giving Leonid's team as much personality and depth as he does the main stars! And having the original Mad Monk as the antagonist doesn't hurt either! 5 out of 5 H's
Blitzkrieg-A return of my favorite villain from the first collection (He said he'd be back, love a bad guy who keeps his word). Overall, a good story. Was not really taken by the introduction of the Manchu's new student, it seemed rushed and forced. There could have been more time spent here to flesh him out a little more. Having his father be a ghostly presence, though, was a nice counter to Max's familial relationships. Overall, not up to the rest of THE ROOK tales, but still better than good! 4 out of 5 H's
Bloodwerks-This story has so many elements working within it, some you don't even realize until a day or so after you've read it. Nice continuation of mingling with other mythos here and yet another great tale building up a good bad guy and adding depth to our heroes. 5 out 5 H's
The Gorgon Conspiracy-The wonderful interplay between characters continues here, but again, the antagonist in this one, although really cool and creepy in a lot of ways, seems to be, well, not as well explored as other baddies in previous ROOK tales. Still, a great adventure with promise of more to come from this particular vein. 4 out of 5 H's
The Shambling Ones-An unbelievably great follow up to a story from VOLUME ONE! This had everything not only you expect after reading THE ROOK, but it had everything you expect from any pulp story! Great villains, awesome heroes, wonderful interplay between characters, a plotline with some meat and also some tenderness, and the mixing up of basically two evil agendas was done very, very well! 5 out of 5 H's
Origins-The shortest story of the collection (Not counting the timeline at the end of the book, fantastic idea, by the way, referred to it several times as I read!), this one is probably in my top two favorites for this collection. First, its a great exploration of The Rook's origins from the eyes of a man who has a decision to make. Really well crafted handling of this character makes this story stand out and offers new insights into not only why The Rook does what he does, but why people would want to help him. Secondly, this sort of short one two punch story is a favorite style of mine to write in and appeals to me as a reader as well as a writer. 5 out of 5 H's
The Book overall-
Hancock's Hard and Fast Review-4 out 5 H's
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.
This volume is a collection of short stories, all set in the 30s and 40s.
(info on the stories to come)
The edition I have is the older, and now unavailable one, from Wildcat Books, not the new "Special edition" from Pro Se Press. There are some problems with the book, which I hope is the fault of the publisher and not the author, and I hope they've been fixed in the new edition. I was also annoyed by the formatting problems and typos in the book. Letters pushed too close together, words dropped or replaced by similar word, columns not formatted. Also, the interior art is great, but it needs to placed properly in the story near where the scene it illustrated is. This is very annoying and unprofessional. Again, hopefully all these problems were fixed.
That changed with this book I recently picked up. The Rook is a classic pulp hero with an overlay of the supernatural added to his adventures. While this also exists in the Lazarus Gray stories, it’s more prevalent in ‘The Rook’s’ stories.
It’s yet another series I’ll have to keep buying now as I really enjoyed this volume. The Rook is steeped in the supernatural including his own psychic abilities which seem to be magic derived as opposed to something he was born with or scientifically based. He has a magic knife as well as a pair of .45’s as weapons, but his fists seem just as deadly. He’s a skilled fighter and tactician who travels the world battling werewolves and vampires as well as more mundane foes, though the mundane are few and far between.
The Rook surrounds himself with friends who aid him in battle, including his wife and his friend the local police chief. He also has a friend who reminds me of a Russian Doc Savage of sorts. This man has adventures on his own and crosses paths with the Rook when they call upon each other for aid. I fully expect this hero to get his own series at some point when Barry has the time to write it.
I found this to be a highly entertaining book, written in short story form. There are 6 tales of the Rook contained therein.
This was a really good book that I enjoyed completely. I highly recommend this book and the series itself. Go get your copy today!