Daniel B. Hunt


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"An action-laden, sometimes-moody tale with an unforgettable futuristic setting.... Hunt’s prose throughout, be it a gunfight or surveillance, shines..."

Kirkus Reviews


AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS

Editor's Choice, 2016: A STEP TOO FAR: A DRYDEN UNIVERSE CORPORATE WARS NOVEL

Rising Star, 2016: A STEP TOO FAR: A DRYDEN UNIVERSE CORPORATE WARS NOVEL

Hometown Leavenworth Kansas


BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-5320-0997-6
Page count: 262pp

An enforcer for a 24th-century corporation strives to protect a young girl from his powerful employers in Hunt’s (Okuda!, 2018, etc.) sci-fi thriller.

Working for Syrch Corp affords Paul Thorne great pay and benefits. He and his partner, Rif Slater, have an office on Papen’s World, the main planet in Syrch’s home system. The men’s jobs as enforcers, however, entail threatening, harming, or even killing the corporation’s enemies. Their latest assignment comes from Syrch biochemist Dr. Warner Gibson, who walks into the office with a golden coin, a technological device containing info on a Syrch-sanctioned assassination. Paul and Rif immediately balk at the job. The target, Jillian Caldwell, is Gibson’s niece. Her late parents were Syrch employees who stole sensitive information that’s now on Jillian’s cranial mesh, an implant for interfacing with computers. But Paul is truly disturbed once surveillance reveals that Jillian is 9 years old. He doesn’t want to kill a child, but saying no to Syrch is a veritable death sentence. So he decides to investigate, certain that if he can discover why the corporation has put a hit on a little girl, there’s a chance he can save her. Unfortunately, Syrch has other enforcers who won’t hesitate to kill Jillian, who, along with Paul, will have to run and hide, if possible, off-world. Paul, meanwhile, learns that Jillian is special, with a considerably high IQ, which may explain why she’s a target.

This short novel is a quick read, but it’s Hunt’s masterful storytelling that keeps the pages turning. Story exposition, for one, doesn’t stymie the plot, as background details, like corporations and planets, unfold as needed. The first half is superbly atmospheric. Perpetual rain in Papen’s World, due to its dense ozone layer, shrouds the planet in gray skies and allows Paul to hide in shadow, which is where he’s most comfortable. It’s not unlike film noir, with Paul as the flawed hero (he’s murdered before at Syrch’s behest) and Gibson as the untrustworthy homme fatale. What the book’s latter half forgoes in somber ambiance, it more than makes up for in action. Paul, for example, evades enforcers in vehicles or on ships but can’t avoid occasional scuffles and the injuries that often accompany them. Hunt’s prose throughout, be it a gunfight or surveillance, shines: “Suddenly a sharper peppering sound, like a tiny cannon in rapid fire, reverberated in the air, and lights flashed from the Raven’s twin miniguns, throwing lead in front of Paul’s car in warning.” Although some of the story is predictable, there’s an effective twist near the end. The novel includes lists of characters, places, terminology, and an extensive timeline of the series’ universe, of which this book is only a small part.

An action-laden, sometimes-moody tale with an unforgettable futuristic setting.

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:

OKUDA!
Science Fiction

Lucy Okuda, an assassin bred in a septic space lab, enjoys killing. Harried by the vaunted Obsidian Order that wants her dead, and haunted by dreams of a life not her own, Lucy must thrive. Hired by one of the universe’s most powerful corporations, Lucy is sent on a desperate mission. Along with her colleagues, a recovering drug addict, a criminal syndicate’s boss, and an advanced robot, Lucy just might start an intergalactic war. But she doesn’t mind. It is all in a day’s work. She is, after all, Lucy Okuda.

Published:
ISBN: 1532055846
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ORIGINS
Science Fiction

Master Sergeant Sayer Kade leads a squad of Terra Corp's preterhuman Geist Marines on a dangerous mission into the unknown. . .. Dark forces churn inside the attack ship Revenge as the ghost of the captain's dead wife haunts him into insanity - and warfare will never be the same. . . Geologist Haamar Ransan's discovery promises to propel the desert world Telakia into an industrial powerhouse, while making Haamar extremely wealthy. Murder and intrigue swirl in this tale of corporate greed. . .. Jordan Mackey traverses an apocalyptic, war-torn landscape searching for her father. As America and its allies launch a desperate bid to stop a Chinese invasion, Jordan finds the strength to survive, which leads to one of the most important discoveries in human history.

Published:
ISBN: 1491789069
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THE ECLIPSING OF SIRUS C
Science Fiction

Major Jean Joyce's estranged brother, Rafe, is a talented hacker and a deserter from the Federation Marines-and the penalty for desertion is death. But the Federation has other plans. The Bureau of Intelligence and Insurgency sends a team led by the major to find her brother and recruit him, offering a full pardon in the bargain. Among them are a devious Bii operative named Danner Tomblin; Akemi Murakami, a beautiful and brilliant technician; and naval pilot Captain Mike Estury. The group's orders are to steal ancient technology by hacking into an alien supercomputer, and Rafe, working with the rest of the team, has the necessary skills to do so. But there is something dangerous lurking in the heart of the computer that will threaten not only the lives of the team but those of all life, everywhere.

Published:
ISBN: 1491771542
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