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The Vril Agenda Paperback – April 15, 2014
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Top customer reviews
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I'm a fan of Derrick Ferguson's Dillon character, and he is why I picked this title up when it became available. Dillon has always been a character with hints of his past shown, but no real solid backstory until recently, and THE VRIL AGENDA offers a glimpse at Dillon before he's the fully capable adventurer I know and love. So granted while I went into this ready to root for my team, I found myself becoming a far of the half of the double bill, Jim Anthony - Super Detective.
My knowledge of Anthony is, well I won't lie, I know absolutely nothing about the character other than he was part of the classic pulp heroes of old, he was half Irish and Indian, and more or less one of the many guys who were an attempt to duplicate the then famous king of the Pulp Heroes, Doc Savage. So I was less stoked about his part in all this other than the book was teased that he was one of Dillon's instructors in his chosen life as a professional adventurer...
Which should've told me right then and to not take either man lightly or the trip they take you on through this story.
THE VRIL AGENDA is a story of two adventurers on opposite ends of their careers. You have the young, brash and enthusiastic Dillon who is making his way in the world, preparing himself not only for his mission in life, but a more personal mission of preparation for something that has haunted him since his childhood was tragically ended by the death of his mother. Jim Anthony on the other hand, has settled into a life of quiet pseudo retirement where he's content to serve as a consultant to law enforcement agencies while putting his feet up with an occasional cup of tea at his club when he is between assignments and his personal pursuits. The two meet when Dillon literally turns up on his doorstep looking to learn whatever the great man is willing to teach him. From those quiet moments begins an adventure where literally the fate of the world is at stake and Jim Anthony has to face an enemy from his past who came within a whisker of killing him last time they met.
THE VRIL AGENDA isn't so much a Dillon adventure as it is a Jim Anthony adventure which features Dillon. The story moves hard and fast once the action hits and the pacing is such that you welcome the quiet moments so you can catch your breath, before Reynolds and Ferguson toss you into the next burst over over the top action. At one point you get to see Jim Anthony in his prime with his team of assistants showing what a formidable man he was in contrast to the man he's become who reluctantly finds himself back out on the front lines and wondering if he's got what it takes to win one more time. Dillon's part in this shows us a young man still transitioning into being confident about his abilities and skills. Yet unlike most of these Age versus Youth buddy stories, Dillon defers to Jim Anthony's experience avoiding the usual cliches, while Anthony's reactions to Dillon as events play out is not only well handled, but believable. Both of the leads earn mutual respect from one another and it makes their partnership work in such a way that while they never really get completely in synch with one another, they compliment each other enough to be equal to the task ahead of them.
The story also carries the distinctive voices of the authors if you're familiar with their other work, so you literally get two books for the price of one. The adventure crosses the globe, goes back into the past, revives another classic character from the world of European pulp, and even explores the how extraordinary people approach not just the beginning or prime of their careers, but also how they face the inevitable fact that those days eventually end and they find themselves wondering if all their efforts were worth it or a waste of time in the final analysis.
So, with all that were there bad points in this book?
That is a matter of taste. I found a few events that hiccuped for me as far as characterization went on occasion that could've been fleshed out better. There were events towards the end that were... "compressed" for lack of a better word, but in the end they weren't terribly relevant to the adventure itself and didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story told. Overall though, THE VRIL AGENDA was a solid book that brought me in rooting for one hero and had me leaving rooting for two. I don't know about classic Jim Anthony, but the older version really should consider getting back on the front lines, because he's still got it.
And like any good hero book, stick around until the end, the last scene is a killer...
So, should you get this book on my say so?
Hey I don't know, what makes me so special?
But I do recommend it if you enjoy fast paced stories of action and adventure...
So stop reading the review and get a copy, you won't regret it.
Familiar with both authors' individual writing styles, I halfway expected jarring transitions between the segments written by each but I can thankfully confirm that the work flows beautifully throughout.
A great full length story worthy of your time. And if all that isn't enough for you, be sure to check it out for a modern reinterpretation of Les Vampires that's worth the price of admission alone!
It's been two years since Dillon left the fabled land of Shamballah, and returned to our reality. He has traveled across the world, and finally arrived at his destination. Which is the New York chapter of the Baltimore Gun Club, where he hopes to encounter Jim Anthony, and convince the Super Detective to train him. Dillon's family has enemies, enemies that slaughtered his mother and father... and Dillon wants to pay them back in kind. His seven years of training under The Warmasters of Liguria has partially prepared him, but he knows that he needs to learn much more, in order to survive his quest. Dillon lays out his story to Jim Anthony, who (much to Dillon's disappointment) does not immediately agree to train him, but does agree to think on the matter, as he gets to know the young man better. Unfortunately Jim also has a number of enemies that are still active, and after a number of violent assaults on the two men, they are left wondering who exactly is trying to kill them. The adventure that follows will be an examination of both men's past, will drive them apart and pull them back together, and in the end they will stand united, facing an evil that plans to reshape the very fabric of reality...
In my opinion, The Vril Agenda is a perfect example of New Pulp done right. In fact, it's just a really great story, regardless of genre. An excellent team up between a modern hero, and a hero from the past, that takes place across the years. The writing from both authors is absolutely top-notch, the characters compelling, the story action-packed. The story flows along seamlessly, and once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down. The time and thought that go into fleshing out both men's history is greatly appreciated. Derrick and Joshua give you enough to satisfy, but hold back enough to preserve the aura of mystery surrounding the two characters. Dillon and Jim Anthony are consummate heroes; willing to sacrifice everything for the greater good, even themselves. The villains aren't one dimensional in any way, they are given their own motivations, which (in their own mind) justifies their actions. They think of themselves as heroes, who are working towards a better reality that will benefit humanity. This makes the villains themselves much more interesting. The settings are imaginative, and well rendered. Basically, this is an outstanding release. I'm not sure what more I can say, other than go out and grab a copy, and get reading! You won't be disappointed.
Most recent customer reviews
Two heroes... One a classic Pulp Hero, considered by some to be a Doc Savage wannabe, but SO MUCH MORE and a...Read more