Wednesday, June 09, 2010


By Derrick Ferguson
Pulpwork Press
280 pages

A few years ago I read and reviewed an adventure novel called DILLON AND THE VOICE OF ODIN. It was my introduction to Derrick Ferguson’s larger than life action hero, Dillon. I recall liking the book a great deal and giving it a major thumbs up in my review. Well here comes the sequel and I have to admit it caught me completely by surprise. I fully expected to enjoy it and I have, just much more than I ever expected. This book is truly leaps and bounds a better read than its predecessor and Ferguson has truly grown as a writer. His prose was always clean, but now he brings a new sense of confidence to every sentence as if he’s finally gotten comfortable with this character and is now just having fun spinning his incredible exploits.

And incredible they certainly are. Dillon, a big strapping African American mercenary adventurer, is asked by his old mentor, Eli Creed, to help save the troubled monarchy of Xonira. A civil war has broken out between a wise and benevolent ruler and a cruel, twisted usurper who is in league with demonic forces beyond this world. The Lord Chancellor hires Dillon and Creed to enter an ancient death-maze known as the Blagdasen Citadel and there retrieve the Golden Bell, an artifact that will hopefully reunite the divided land and bring back peace. It’s a noble undertaking, but accomplishing it proves to be the most daring, dangerous and fool hardy mission Dillon has ever undertaken. Accompanied by the cantankerous Creed, a lovely Xoniran agent named Dagna Summers and Brandon, a specially gifted young man, Dillon sets out to do the impossible.

Believe me when I say Ferguson is a master pulp writer and he lays on the action thick and heavy from page to page. It is a break-neck pace that never slows down from rocket-pack raiders in Manhattan, advanced dirigible warships soaring over foreign lands, to a genetically altered female assassin. He dishes out the jaw-dropping wonders with every new chapter. There’s more action and thrills in this one book than a half-dozen other pulp thrillers I’ve read of late.

One of the sad truths of the old pulp era was its exclusion of minorities by both color and gender. There simply were no major black or female pulp writers, if any at all. Now Derrick Ferguson is among an elite group setting the ship alright, and he does so with a genuine flair and love of the genre. Dillon is part Indiana Jones, part James Bond and a whole lot of Imaro. And one of my personal favorite pulp heroes. He should be one of yours too.

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