Saturday, 6 April 2013

ePulp Review of the Week - Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira by Derrick Ferguson.

Dillon and the Pirates of XoniraDillon and the Pirates of Xonira by Derrick Ferguson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***Pulp Warning*** All my e-reading is in the vein of e-pulp, so all reviews are pulp relative. Reader beware :) ***Pulp Warning***

Overall: 4 stars (Recommend)

The Pirates of Xonira is a Bond style romp through a modern world setting which makes a refreshing change for pulp. Dillon is great, the action non-stop and the supporting cast fantastic but it's missing that certain something that would make it 5 stars.

Pacing and Action: 4 stars.

One thing about a modern setting for pulp is that there's plenty more toys to play with and Dillon has a garage full of them. Motorbikes, four-wheel drives, drone gunships and submarines are all part of the fun and shenanigans ensue.

The only let down would be the way the story falls into some old Bond cliches with slabs of exposition while characters interrogate each other or the villain explains his evil scheme. It slows things down a little and can feel a little clunky.

Pulp Concept: 4 stars.

A modern setting for non-superhero pulp seems to be a fairly rare occurence but it shouldn't be. The Dillon series is a good exception with a clear Bond influence while putting its own spin on the ideas. It blends Bond with more fantastic elements that provoke Dillon's various high-tech adventures, usually dragging him all over the world in order to make things right. It's a good conept that is well used in this latest installment.

Character development: 4 stars.

This is quite good, helped by the fact that all of the characters are unique with their own motivations and character tics. Over the course of the story we good a very good sense of who is what and why, Dillon is a great character that plays with the Bond cliche by being not very Bond in many different ways and the supporting cast also have histories and stories of their own. Not sure if anyone changes over the course of the narrative but being well-rounded to begin with means that you don't notice.

Production: 3.5 stars.

There were some spelling mistakes and missed words that should have been picked up in editting and the cover is a bit flat and lifeless. But the price is good which means you get plenty of pulp for your buck.

Series Potential: 4 stars.

Three or four stories in I think the series potential has been proven. The pattern has been set and references to Dillon's wider world are always being dropped in to flesh out the world and his character. Plenty of material to mine in the future and the author is no doubt thinking in that vein.

Wrap Up.

Good, fun, Bond-style pulp romp with a great character. Will be interesting to see what happens next in the world of Dillon.

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