Hurricane Fever (book 2) by Tobia S. Buckell (book review).

May 28, 2015 | By | Reply More

‘Hurricane Fever’ is, in effect, a sequel to Tobias Buckell’s previous novel, ‘Arctic Rising’. However, only one of its chief characters, the male but female-named Prudence ‘Roos’ Jones, is featured here and, although I recommend that you see my review on SFC, http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/arctic-rising-by-tobias-s-buckell-book-review/, you may safely read this novel as a standalone. There is none of the dense science-fictional background of the previous novel though it is, of course, set in the same world of the near future in which global warming has caused sea levels to rise, with all its consequences. Rather than the Arctic, this story is set mainly in Buckell’s own home territory of the Caribbean. Jones, a former spy with Caribbean Intelligence Group (CIG) and, still with connections there, is forced out of retirement by a message left on his phone by a dead man.

HurricaneFever

The story starts with another CIG operative, Zee, getting himself into a very dangerous scrape with security guards while trying to enter the offices of Beauchamp Industries in Miami. The scene then moves to Roos’ catamaran, Spitfire II, in the Caribbean, where Zee teaching his young orphaned nephew, Delroy, the ropes (literally) of sailing. It is here that Roos is surprised to receive a phone call from a blocked number saying that, if he is hearing this, it means his old friend Zee is dead and that he needs a favour.

If you want to learn all the details about sailing in the Caribbean and what to do in the event of a big tropical storm, of which there are now many due the climate change, then look no further because it is not until half-way through – page 150, to be precise, that we learn what all the events in the previous storm-filled pages have been about. Not that those pages aren’t exciting, but they are just a build-up for the real meat which comes later in the book. Really, this is a novel in the James Bond mould (but perhaps an anti-James Bond?) with a filthy rich maniac who wants to force his views and beliefs onto the whole world and is prepared to go to any lengths to do so.

But let’s get back to Roos. Having survived a bad storm in his catamaran with Delroy, he is approached by a young blonde woman, Kit Barlow, who claims to be Zee’s younger sister, though she insists upon calling him Zachariah, his full name. Kit says she wants to discover the truth about her brother’s death, as she has been told he died in Florida of haemorrhagic fever and that her work with an insurance company suggests that the chance of this being true, given his location, are vanishingly small. She has also been told that Zachariah has been cremated, so there is no chance of learning the truth from his body. It quickly becomes clear that Kit has been followed by at least two men with nefarious intent who boarded his boat. Roos quickly despatches them using his only weapon at the time, a flare gun, but a chase ensues on land with other gunmen and the pace speeds up. Roos, becoming suspicious of Kit’s claim to be Zee’s brother, calls in the aid of an old ally, Jacinta, who has ‘connections’ with the local underworld and asks her to check, at the same time purchasing from her a whole arsenal of weapons from Uzis to grenades.

Then the gunmen chasing the pair kill his nephew, Delroy, finding him on the Spitfire and taking him for Roos. The police become involved, of course. Roos, even being a possible suspect, but he cannot tell them all he knows because it would interfere with and damage his search and it has now become personal. So he and Kit are forced to go on the run.

They have discovered that the killers are tattooed neo-Nazis working for some powerful but, as yet, unknown figure. They capture one of them, leading them to the island of Aves, now actually submerged but covered in stilt-houses and even a large garrison and floating airport. He steals back his catamaran, which has been impounded by the police, and heads there, hindered by yet another, full hurricane, named Njema.

With Jacinta’s help, Roos learns the true identity of Kit or Katrina, but they still work together, having the same interests at heart. Following a lead, he breaks his way into Beauchamp Labs during a Roos’ rooftop ‘storm-party’ attended by the super-rich into which he has blagged himself and becomes captured by Beauchamp himself. Like all good super-villains, Beauchamp cannot help boasting about his plans for humanity or at last part of it, but to tell you more would just be a ‘spoiler’. That is except to say that it involves one of mankind’s deadliest and most feared of weapons, delivered by a method that dates back to Jules Verne. So, if your interest has been whetted, I suggest that you read this book for yourself, because if you enjoy a good techno-thriller set in a believable future with all its geo-political overtones, this is for you!

David A. Hardy

May 2015

(pub: Del Rey/Random House, 2014. 303 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-091953-53-9)

check out websites: www.delreyuk.com and www.TobiasBuckell.com

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Category: Books, Scifi

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About the Author ()

David A. Hardy, FBIS, FIAAA is the longest-established living space artist in the West, being first published in 1952. From working almost exclusively in water colours and gouache he has gone on to embrace acrylics, oils, pastels and, since 1991, digital art on a Mac. For more art, including prints of this and other works, visit http://www.astroart.org, where you can find many links, tutorials, books and prints and originals for sale. Dave is Vice President of the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists (ASFA) and European VP of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), and has an asteroid named after him! His SF novel 'Aurora' is now available in a revised and updated edition on Amazon etc. See a review of this and an interview with Pauline Morgan (November 2012) here: http://sfcrowsnest.info/?s=hardy

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