As much as I love Nicholas Sansbury Smith's Extinction Cycle books, his new Trackers series feels like a breath of fresh air with its lack of sci-fi horror creatures (and, mind you, I do love me some sci-fi horror creatures an awful lot). The drama and action in these books are spurred 100 percent by human actors and motivators, keeping the plot completely grounded in reality. With his other series, there's a certain element of the fantastic that helps provide a friendly buffer for escapist thrills, but Trackers carries with it a measure of authenticity that's all the more chilling.
Five days ago, North Korea launched an attack against the United States (in the book, I mean. But depending on when you're reading this, it could be true), collapsing much of American society with a massive electromagnetic pulse blast and nuking Washington, D.C. While the Korean threat continues to lurk in the background of The Hunted, the main narrative thrust concerns the dangers of homegrown American threats, specifically an Aryan splinter-ground calling themselves the Sons of Liberty. As with Trackers, Estes Park is Ground Zero for all the bad news, and Sioux tracker Raven Spears and Major Nathan Sardetti are again on the front lines and trying to hold together what's left of their society.
Smith's storytelling skills are front and center with this book, and he's crafted one heck of a page-turner. I had to force myself to slowdown at times, but the pacing of this book is so rapid-fire all you can do is try to keep up. It's like this sucker runs on rocket fuel, and boy does it ever burn hot.
I liked the first Trackers book a lot, but this one is even better. I attribute a lot of this to Nazi punching. There's a lot of skinheads in this book, and it's a real treat to read them getting their just deserts. I was whopping with joy as they got the snot kicked out of them, or met the business end of a rifle or axe blade. It's just such good stuff, and a perfect remedy for our current American climate where some people are actually questioning whether or not it's OK to punch Nazis. Pro-tip: It is ALWAYS OK to punch Nazis. In fact, there are few things more patriotic than Nazi sleaze getting the crap kicked out them by Real American Heroes, and Smith writes those scenes with his usual action flair. It's great!
This book gets all 5 Nazi-punching stars. And if you liked the first Trackers book, you're going to be in for a real treat with this seriously gripping second installment.
[Note: I received an advanced copy of this title from the author.]
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