01/01/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Gollancz. 194 page enlarged paperback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-575-07988-5.
check out website: www.orionbooks.co.uk
'Eagle Rising' is the sequel to 'Hunter's Moon' where warlock undercover agent Jack infiltrates a neo-Nazis organisation who, amongst other things plan to resurrect Hitler's soul from Hell. It's interesting to note that author David Devereux in the introduction reminds readers that none of the magic used in this book is for real and then ultimately doesn't use much at all.
Without the magical element, this story would be very much like one of those 'Murphy's Law' TV thrillers starring James Nesbitt. Deep undercover, Jack works his way up the ladder of the organisation in just over a year to be one of its lieutenants with very little in the way of obstacles except for dislike of the people he has to get along with. Written in first person, you only see events from Jack's perspective and personal thoughts. Devereux writes well but you wouldn't want to over-analyse the material because most of the time you're left to your own devices as to what it all means. Instead of a big spectacular ending, the story rushes on that it's debatable whether there was a need to finish quickly for a deadline or to make a particular page count.
This doesn't mean to say that this book isn't readable and for a reader who wants a relatively light read for a bus or train journey, its ideal but from a reviewer's point of view where we have to sum up and give everything a second look, it could have done with some more meat and blood (sic) on the pages. Not so much offal but giving Jack some real challenges to face and do his wizardry. As there's a third book in the works, I hope Devereux raises the stakes.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA