Thursday, March 25, 2010

Me and Ethan Gage Are Tight!

Or at least we're going to be.

I keep meaning to do some posts on the adventure thrillers I enjoy and somehow haven't done that yet. I remember one of the very first ARCs I got as a bookseller was a set of Matthew Reilly's books, Ice Station and Temple. Oh, I was in heaven. I was a newbie at the store and snagged two freebies that introduced me to an author I'd never heard of/read before. This was the first time that I really got to experience that rush from start to finish. I mean, the books were free, for one. But having the chance to read something new and then tell customers about it, which I did for years to come, was and always will be the best part of reading like I do.

I featured William Dietrich's upcoming The Barbary Pirates in a Pre-pub post last week (here) before I'd had a chance to read it, so was unable to actually review the book as part of the post. So here's my follow-up since I can now add it to the finished stack.

When Susan Schwartzman asked if I'd be interested in The Barbary Pirates, I told her definitely. As I've mentioned before, the publicist extraordinaire has not steered me wrong in her recommendations and of course I'm always open to new authors. Thing is, this is the fourth in the Ethan Gage series and I feared that I would be completely lost. I have to say that although I'm really itching to go back and read Ethan's previous adventures (and will as soon as I can), I found that I was not, in fact, completely lost.

Be warned, though, The Barbary Pirates does rely very heavily on an already established storyline, but for action fans, it's merely something that will send you racing to the bookstore -- once you finish, that is. I definitely was not tempted to set this one aside long enough to catch up!

In a story that began at the poker tables of Napoleon's Pyramid, The Barbary Pirates begins with Gage and four savant cohorts hitting up The Palais Royal in France. Of course they end up at a brothel where Gage is targeted by a member of the Egyptian Rite who claims that he can help track down Gage's missing lover. It's clear pretty soon that the Rite is not out to help Gage and he and his friends narrowly escape danger, only to be brought straight to Napoleon himself. Soon Ethan and his friends find themselves on a mission that they can't refuse.

I find Dietrich's style to be extremely humorous and smart and I love that actual historical events are woven into the tales, creating a web of reality around the fantastic and fun plot. I wish that I'd read the earlier books first so that I could get the whole picture, but rest assured that it's not completely necessary, merely highly recommended!

If you would like to start on Gage's adventures from the beginning before The Barbary Pirates lands on shelves next week, they are (in order):

Napoleon's Pyramids
The Rosetta Key
The Dakota Cipher

1 comment:

Vickie said...

Oh DUDETTE! This looks so good and I can share the series with my dad and probably my sister. I will start with the beginning and just added it to my B&N shopping cart. Thanks!