Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Guest Post: "Hard Luck Hank: Off-Beat SF with a Mystery to be Solved" by Terry W. Ervin II

Readers of this blog know I am a big fan of Terry’s First Civilization’s Legacy Series. So much so I made the first book in the series, Flank Hawk, my FFB pick a couple of times. Where else are you going to get, among other things, souled zombies? The second book in the series, Blood Sword, was also mighty good. I am finally currently reading Soul Forge. I also have here the first book in the Crax War Chronicles to read. The second book in that series, Relic Hunted, just hit the streets.

While there are mystery elements to his First Civilization’s Legacy Series they become quite pronounced in the short stories that make up Genre Shotgun. In short, Terry knows what he is doing and has shown it in multiple areas. Please welcome Terry to the blog for the first of hopefully many more guest posts.

Hard Luck Hank: Off-Beat SF with a Mystery to be Solved

Here at Kevin’s Corner, reviews of mysteries are common fare.

In this guest post, I’m going to present an off-beat science fiction series, where each novel has a mystery that the slow (in more ways than one) but steady protagonist (Hank) struggles to solve. Add to that, a mix of interesting characters with elements of humor and you have Hard Luck Hank.

Observing the first novel’s title and cover, Hard Luck Hank: Screw the Galaxy, readers know they’re not getting anything run-of-the-mill. Hank is a thug, living on the Belvaille space station, one of the most corrupt cities in the Colmarian Confederation. He’s a mutant, whose mutation makes him virtually immune to bullets, grenades, knives and more. Getting shot hurts, but isn’t fatal. Yet, Hank isn’t indestructible or unbeatable—not by far. Nevertheless, he is the go-to negotiations mediator for gang bosses and the various nefarious organizations that permeate Belvaille.

Each novel in the series has Hank thrust into a dire situation, where he has to figure out what’s going on, who’s behind it, and what, if anything, he can do about it. Seemingly random or insignificant events or situations enter the storyline, which I enjoy, as they all tie together in the end. Although the structure is the same, for each novel, Belvaille—and the situation—has changed, often for the worse, so it’s never the same old thing over again. Yes, there’s some of the ‘old’ that I enjoyed remains, but there’s a healthy mix the ‘new.’

What I like most about the Hard Luck Hank books are the characters Hank interacts with, and his internal (and sometimes verbalized) commentary, not only about himself, but the situations and the actions of folks around him. The dialogue, especially between Hank and Delovoa, a three-eyed, whacked out scientist mutant is especially entertaining. Delovoa is one of Hank’s only friends…sort of, and appears in all four novels thus far, and has a standalone novella where he’s the main character.

The audiobook versions of the Hard Luck Hank Series are a special treat. They bring an added dimension to the story. The narrator, Liam Owen, gets Hank’s voice and patterns just right, making the listen even more entertaining.

So, if you’re looking for something fun and maybe a little out of your mainstream, give the Hard Luck Hank Series a try.

To learn more about Hank and what’s available in the series, visit the website: http://www.belvaille.com/

Terry W. Ervin II ©2016


Terry W. Ervin II is an English and science teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series (fantasy), Crax War Chronicles (SF), and short story collection, Genre Shotgun, are available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at www.ervin-author.com and his blog, Up Around the Corner at uparoundthecorner.blogspot.com

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