Sunday, August 19, 2012
VIN OF VENUS: Damn, that was fun!
Yep, I’m hooked, and already looking forward to the next book.
There are so many good things going on in Vin of Venus that it’s hard to decide what to mention first. And it’s hard to say all the things I’d like to say without spoiling the many surprises that make it such a fun read.
The concept is brilliant. Vin is a guy who wakes up in a Polish hospital with his memory gone. His left arm and left leg are missing too, and an unearthly jeweled bracelet seems welded around his wrist. Then things get even stranger, as discovers the bracelet has strange properties, and becomes fixated with the idea he’s actually from Venus.
The first chapter in the book, by Misters Cranmer and Brazill, gives us this much, setting the stage for Garnett Elliott, who provides the other 90% of the prose. This is where things get tricky, because I don’t want to give away too much.
Suffice it to say that if you like mysteries, science fiction or sword and planet adventure (or better yet, all three) this book is for you. Some of the action takes place on present day Earth, and reads like hardboiled crime fiction with a sci-fi edge. But a good portion of the story seems to take place on Venus - an updated tip-of-the-hat to John Carter of Mars. I say it seems to take place on Venus, because the story is a delicious blend of fiction within fiction, opening several possible explanations for what’s really going on.
Bottom line: The writing is consistently sharp, the hero is unique and engaging, and the pacing delivers one great surprise after another. Vin of Venus is a great opener to what I hope will be a long-running series.
Meanwhile, as a new fan of Garnett Elliott, I'm anxious to see more of his work, including a story called “The Vaudeville Detective” in the latest (Sept) issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
Vin of Venus is available HERE.