HAWK: HAND OF THE MACHINE
By Van Allen Plexico
Published by White Rocket Books: May 7, 2012
Audiobook Published: July, 30, 2019
The galactic agent known as HAWK has awakened too soon in a galaxy shattered by apocalyptic warfare. His master, the Machine, is possibly insane, and the great Adversary of Man has returned. Armed with futuristic weapons he doesn’t fully understand and a sentient starship that he dares not trust, he must confront his former allies, turned renegades and pirates instead of soldiers. His new mission is simple, yet perhaps impossible: He must unite them–or all life in our galaxy will end!
Van Allen Plexico has become one of my favorite modern “pulp” writers. Whatever genre he’s working in (whether is Space Opera or Vegas in the 1970s) he brings a charm to each character and plops the reader into a fully realized world to wander around in.
Hawk: Hand Of The Machine is part of his “Shattered Galaxy” universe, but still works on its own narrative merits. A master of world building, Plexico gives us just enough information to visualize and understand this section of the galaxy we are whirling around in. The stakes are high and the characters are complex and well defined.
I absolutely loved playing in the world, and as one of my earlier narrations it was a daunting task at a whopping 12.5 hours of finished audio. (I’ve since beat that with 14 hours of INFERTAT) As a Space Opera/Fantasy buff, Hawk hits all the right notes for me. Colorful characters, interesting locations, military battles and even some terrifying creatures causing mayhem. Plexico introduced me to a world that will stick with me long after I’ve finished narrating it. In fact, I’ve since grabbed all the other connected books and am trying to find the time to dive in!
With each book I narrate, I learn valuable lessons. I have a few self-critiques I’ve taken away from this as I re-listened to the completed audiobook. I know that these lessons learned will undoubtedly make for an even better second installment should Van Allen Plexico ever ask me to come back and play in the Shattered Galaxy Universe. Until then, I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity I had to be introduced to a master of Universe Building and I genuinely hope more people continue to discover Van’s awesome work.
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