Hunter’s Run (Review)

Hunter’s Run (Review)

ave I ever steered you wrong?

The Martian? The Name of the Wind? All those novels I read first and either warned you off or pushed you into the bookstore after? Yeah, who’s your friend? Who has your back?

It’s almost as if I’m you.

So, Hunter’s Run.

Goddam. Get it!

So a guy is on the run for a back alley dumbass murder, a guy we really don’t care about. Ramon Espejo is nothing more than a back-alley chump on a dirty little back-alley Hispanic colony planet. Knowing that a dozen people watched him gut a gringo, he decides it’s time to go prospecting again an so he heads for the northern highlands where there aren’t people, there aren’t temptations, and he can think. So feeling an easiness in his soul (the sort that comes from supposedly giving the law the slip) he sets off a prospecting charge and unearths an alien colony hive. Out comes a flying vehicle. Before he can run, shots are flying, he’s ducking, running, and then…


See, we woke up in the first chapter with this guy, floating in darkness. Slowly we came to understand what has gone on in the paragraph above. And now, surrounded by freaky aliens we can hardly understand, we are told that dirty, prospecting Espejo – with a physical leash that can inflict pain at the slightest disloyalty, now has a new purpose. Apparently he wasn’t as smart as he thought, and someone (probably a cop) had trailed him out into the wild. And that someone saw the alien hive. And that someone must be intercepted and killed. And dirty, cursing Ramon Espejo, pulling at the lead of an incomprehensible alien and supposedly able to think like his quarry, will be the one to do it.

I loved this book. Just as I thought I realize what the gotcha was, the book double-jumped me. It’s written well, and I found myself smiling at the spitting-nails hero (who reminded me of Tuco from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly). And speaking of movies, there would be The Defiant Ones, with Curtis and Poitier chained together. But it’s not a movie; it’s a book with all the depth and development books can provide. The colony city is dirty and nasty, the hero is a product of a lifetime of poverty, he can hardly explain his motives. And towering over him is Maneck, totally alien, totally unapproachable, yet even as Ramon schemes against him, we learn more about his alien motives and alien reasonings. Yeah, it’s good – I loved the characters, the situation, and the clever ending.

So, have I ever steered you wrong?

Get it.