Since I read, Operation: Siberia, I decided I might as well catch up on the rest of the S-Squad books.
This is, incidentally, the first posting of this blog’s fifth year.
Thanks for everyone continuing to stop by and the new comers.
The strange name will remain for the fifth year. So will the erratic choices for reviews.
What will probably change is fewer reviews of what I’ve read. For instance, you will probably not be getting a review of the book of Epictetus’ philosophy I’m reading since I have no reason to believe, based on past experience, anyone would care what I have to say on it.
The blog’s focus, such as it is, will probably tighten a bit. I may not even review every science fiction book I read though, especially by modern authors well covered elsewhere.
The review format, with its need to avoid spoilers, is a bit confining, so I’ll probably do more essays on future books, especially when covering certain authors.
With the time freed up, I hope to actually read more of other people’s blogs and pursue some other writing projects besides the blog.
Review: Operation: Amazon, William Meikle, 2018.
No adventures in the cold here. The Squad is sent to the Amazon to find out what’s happened to the son of an English nobleman. Said son, Buller, disappeared from a gold dredging operation on the Amazon.
But then his phone is found, floating in a plastic bag. Is that really some kind of giant snake in a video on the phone? A local guide, Giraldo, thinks so.
So the Squad goes to look for Buller with Giraldo and Buller’s friend Wilkes. The trail ends at a stone temple on the river. There they are captured by the hidden tribe of Boitata, associated with strange stories about people turning into serpents.
This is the first time in the series that outright magic is unapologetically put in the story. Operation Antarctica’s strange menace was rationalized as a sort of science.
It’s also the installment with, beyond a doubt, the most unlikeable civilian ever met by the Squad: Buller.
And, as frequently is the case in Meikle stories, every day people rise to the occasion out of duty and friendship. Here that’s Giraldo and Wilkes.
The climax is tersely but pleasingly presented. While not having quite the grandeur as the end of the previous installment, Operation: Siberia, the final scene still is awe inspiring.
Not much more to say. The S-Squad is modern pulp, about 120 pages long each adventure, and has the virtues that pulp should have: action, some wonder, fast-moving story, and characters sketched enough to be interesting.