Book Review – Hunter’s Run – George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Daniel Abraham

I’m sure many of you have read some form of the novel The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell or at least have seen one of its many film adaptations.  It’s the story where a guy finds himself abandoned on an island to soon find that he is being hunted by a rich guy who wants the real thrill of hunting something intelligent.  And I’m pretty sure everyone is familiar with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  If you were to take those two novels and blend them together and add a good helping of psychological and social undertones with a good smattering of twists, aliens, and imagination you will find yourself with the science fiction novel Hunter’s Run, written as a collaboration effort between George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, and Daniel Abraham.

Ramón Espejo is an Earth born Mexican who has found himself living on the colony planet of São Paulo .  The planet was originally colonized by the Brazilians and eventually found itself being populated by many other people from the South America regions.  Ramón had found his way over as part as an excavation crew, but after some complications with his foreman he arrived without a job and eventually took up a life as a surveyor, which led to him living a life of near poverty making enough money to scrap by, and what ever extra money he earns he spends on getting drunk.  Ramón is not exactly a nice guy as his alcohol fueled rage often leads to him getting himself in trouble and eventually leads to him committing murder.

It’s this murder that he commits that leads to him fleeing the city and trying to build a last-ditch alibi that he was out prospecting when the crime was committed.  While he is out searching the uncharted lands of São Paulo, Ramón ends up finding himself in quite a sticky situation that changes him forever.  To get into the story any further would give away many of the great twists and broad imagination of this book but he does find himself in a hunt or be hunted situation with his prey the last person or being in the universe he would have ever expected.

Hunter’s Run has a tightly written narrative that leaves no loose ends and by the end of the book is very fulfilling.  Between the authors the prose is wonderfully written and filled with details that really draw you into the story.  As with anything George R.R. Martin is a part of, the characters are fleshed out impeccably with believable personalities and with even the most despicable characters there’s a level of sympathy to them.  The world of São Paulo, originally penned by Gardner Dozois, is wonderfully painted with minor details, such as the frigidness of a river, really adding color to the world and urgency to the situations.

While there is the main survival story narrative of the book there are other themes that pop up under the hood such as the meaning of freedom and what it is to “be”.  These themes, along with a couple of others, are woven wonderfully into the story as to not come out right in your face nor be buried so deeply that you don’t notice them.  Often times it was a situation that Ramón finds himself in that had me questioning how I may act or react in the same spot.  Other times it’s dialog between Ramón and a creature that doesn’t understand the human race and ultimately Ramón doesn’t either but ends up spewing something out to not seem like an idiot.  By the end of the novel your brain will be quite entertained as well as getting a philosophical work-out.

I highly recommend checking Hunter’s Run out.  It was one of the best sci-fi books I’ve read in quite a while.  It’s fast pace keeps the story always moving forward only pausing when you take a few moments to reflect on the different crazy situations Ramón finds himself in.  It’s suspenseful, action packed, well written, emotional, and intelligent, what else could you ask for in a novel and clocking in at 276 pages you should be able to breeze through this one in a couple of sittings.  Time well spent and now I have another two authors to add to the list of authors I need to check out.

Peace Love and Metal!!!

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on February 10, 2012, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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