by Rolf Hitzer
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There’s something really exciting about reading an author’s first work, so when I was offered the opportunity to review Rolf Hitzer’s debut novel, Hoodoo Sea, I jumped at the chance. After all, I like a good action-adventure novel, and coming home from a vacation that involved climbing lighthouses and hanging out at murky cold beaches put me in just the right frame of mind for such a work.
In Hoodoo Sea, Hitzer introduces us to Scott Reed, a NASA wing commander chosen to command the test mission of the first speed-of-light craft. Oh, and Reed, like the author, is Canadian.
Reed and his three teammates take off with no issue, and immediately head for that part of the ocean known as “Hoodoo Sea” by navy types, and “the Bermuda triangle” by the rest of us. Their craft is surrounded by a dense fog, instruments go wonky, and there are flashes of bright light. Finally, they land, but on an Island populated by hunter-gatherer types and giant wolves with flashlight-bright eyes. This is where their adventure really begins.
Part action-adventure, part survival tale, and part paranormal thriller, Hoodoo Sea is a compelling read, with strong characters and just enough detail to allow the reader to visualize the scene without feeling like it’s overkill.
I liked that the mission team included a woman, and that the American vs. Canadian bickering was realistic without overpowering the plot. I enjoyed the descriptions of the native population, including Tribefeeder Henpo, and the hints that the wolves might not be wolves.
I confess, that when my stepfather, who peeked at the book before I could, pointed out that author Hitzer is from Winnipeg, just like his main character, I was a bit concerned there would be elements of “Marty Stu-ism” – self insertion – but the story didn’t read that way.
While the ending seemed a bit abrupt, and had a sort of “but it was all a dream” cheat that most writers are warned against in high school, in this novel, that device worked well, and did not in any way diminish the story.
Congratulations, Rolf Hitzer, on a great first novel. More, please?
Check back on Monday , October 26th for a guest post from Rolf Hitzer.