Apr 132015
Ninja Master #5: Black Magician, by Wade Barker September, 1982  Warner Books Given that the Ninja Master series was an obvious cash-in on the success of Eric Van Lustbader’s The Ninja, I guess it was only a matter of time before an installment of the series ripped off the novel itself. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if someone took Lustbader’s book and trimmed off all the fat
Apr 092015
Z-Comm #4: Blood Storm, by Kyle Maning No month stated, 1990  BMI/Leisure Books One immediately notices a few differences about this fourth and final installment of David Alexander's Z-Comm series; not only are both the series title and volume numbering gone, but so is the inner cover artwork which graced the previous three volumes. Also, Blood Storm is published by BMI,* whereas the
Apr 042015
I’m currently reading the 10th volume of the Doomsday Warrior series, and just came across the sad news (here and here) that author Ryder Syvertsen recently passed away, on February 24th of this year. He was 73 years old and a life-long New Yorker. Syvertsen was of course one half of “Ryder Stacy,” and wrote the majority of the 19-volume series, with Jan Stacy (who died in 1989) only
Apr 022015
SOBs #1: The Barrabas Run, by Jack Hild September, 1983  Gold Eagle Books The SOBs series gets off to a rocky start with a first volume that comes off more like a standalone novel than the beginning of an ongoing series. The copyright page credits a whopping three authors: Jack Canon, Robin Hardy, and Alan Bomack. Hardy became one of the main writers of the series, and “Bomack” was the
Mar 262015
Decoy #2: Moon Over Miami, by Jim Deane May, 1975  Signet Books The second and final volume of the misnamed Decoy series is just as boring and tepid as the first. Once again our breast-obsessed narrator, Nick “The Great Pretender” Merlotti, blathers on and on as he relates his latest (and thankfully last) case, which for some reason has him trying to clear the name of a young Hispanic kid
Mar 232015
Ninja Master #4: Million-Dollar Massacre, by Wade Barker May, 1982  Warner Books Ric Meyers returns to the Ninja Master series with an installment that isn’t as great as his first one, but it’s still pretty good – at least, once our author has remembered that he’s writing a bloody piece of ninjasploitation pulp. Before that Million-Dollar Massacre loses its footing in a sort of padded-out
Mar 162015
Sam Durell #39: Assignment Quayle Question, by Edward S. Aarons May, 1975  Fawcett Gold Medal With a cover that could come off a ‘70s sweat mag, the 39th volume of the Sam Durell series picks up “shortly” after the events of the previous volume, though be assured that reading Assignment Sumatra isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying The Quayle Question. Plus, this one features a Fu Manchu-style
Feb 262015
Depth Force #4: Battle Stations, by Irving A. Greenfield July, 1985  Zebra Books Once again coming off like the men’s adventure equivalent of a soap opera, the Depth Force series continues with this fourth novel that picks up immediately after the events of the previous volume, with not one word of helpful background material to catch up the reader. Battle Stations follows the same
Feb 232015
The Katmandu Contract, by Nick Carter No month stated, 1975  Award Books By this point in the Nick Carter: Killmaster saga, series creator/producer Lyle Kenyon Engel was gone, and the books were solely in the hands of publisher Award Books. Rather than a small stable of authors who turned out a guided series, Nick Carter: Killmaster was now farmed out to an ever-changing lineup of freelance
Feb 162015
Killinger #2: The Rainbow/Seagreen Case, by P.K. Palmer January, 1974  Pinnacle Books The second and final installment of the Killinger series is an exercise in tedium, author P.K. Palmer doling out a slow-moving tale that’s rife with repetition. It seems clear though that Palmer, who passed away before publication, intended Killinger to be a sort of Travis McGhee for the Pinnacle line;