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Tales of The Rook Paperback – May 26, 2012
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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.
The story by Mike Bullock (new pulp author) has the Rook teams up with a new pulp hero, Xander Janus. Will we see more of this character?
Perry Constantine (new pulp author)'s story is actually set in the future with the fourth's Rook. Another pulp hero makes a cameo appearance.
And finally, Tommy Hancock (head of Pro Se Press)'s story has The Rook go up against the classic pulp villain, Doctor Death! And this sets up possible future conflicts with him.
One thing I would have liked to have seen would have been some short biographical info on all the authors. I've seen this in many works, and was a little disappointed by the absence here.
I look forward to the next Rook volume, and well as more volumes of "Tales of the Rook".
Tales of the Rook is a decent offering that hardcore fans of the previous "Rook" volumes should enjoy.
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.