G.S. Luckett asked me to review his novel "Alpha Hunter". It is a vampire hunter story taking place in medieval Europe. I will examine plot, character and polish, and then assign a grade.
The opening is great. It is mysterious without being pretentious, it is well described and sharp with language. It features a cinematic battle sequence. I could see it in my mind clearly. The phrase "Rule of Cool" is fitting for it, but it is also used to initiate the main plot.
The main plot is pretty and straightforward. There is this dead vampire that the bad guys want to revive in order rejuvenate their race and expand their territory. They need the pieces of this one map in order find his tomb. The heroes are trying to stop them by finding the pieces first. This is the reason for the pitched battles that take place.
You would think this is a standard You Can't Thwart Stage One, but you'd be wrong. Mr. Luckett plays with this trope in three ways, one for the heroes and two for the villains. They are nice twists that add a little life to a plot that is otherwise nothing but battle and exposition.
This book reads more like a movie script than a book. I imagine it would look amazing on screen, but on paper it falls flat more often then not. There is a battle, a little exposition, and then another battle in a new location. In that sense it is also like an early video game; the ones where the hero starts in a dungeon and spends 90% of the game fighting alone.
The ending has a satisfying conclusion. The current Evil Plan is averted (for now) but The Adventure Continues.
Characterization for everyone is scant. Alexander Damascus is this stoic action hero working on duty. Demitra is his faithful sidekick who is better at socializing. They're working with a couple mercenaries and a priest who have just enough characterization to be more than red shirts.
The villains are little better. There's Adrielle, the vampire Queen, and her two lieutenants. One of them is her treacherous personal attendant and the other is the loyal field leader of her army.
Grammar and spelling are acceptable. It's not perfect and I found a couple errors but it's nothing serious enough to affect the grade.
Then there's the quality of the prose. The first and last scene are great in the way they are written. They are smooth and animated. It's a professional polish. The middle parts are just bland. Simple description without any life to them.
Trickster Eric Novels gives "Alpha Hunter" a C+
This has been a free review request. I received nothing in exchange except a free copy of the book.
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