Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Green Lama: Crimson Circle

Adam Lance Garcia, a very talented author who I have corresponded with in the past, sent me a .pdf of his upcoming Green Lama novel, Crimson Circle, in exchange for a review. Therefore, I will be posting it here (since there are a good few crossovers in it), as well as on Amazon and Goodreads.

I have enjoyed Adam Lance Garcia's take on Kendell Foster Crossen's classic pulp hero the Green Lama ever since I read the original version of his novel The Green Lama Unbound in 2011. I am pleased to say that he has outdone himself here. In this particular entry, the Lama finds himself against a dangerous scientific enclave that poses a threat not only to him, but to his closest allies as well. The Lama's Buddhism in some ways sets him apart from many of the other pulp heroes, and is one of the most intriguing aspects of the character for me. Adam delivers on the action in spades, and also delves deeply into what drives the Lama and his aides. They are all well-rounded characters, particularly the Lama's lover, actress Jean Farrell.

Another aspect of the novel that I very much enjoy is that Adam plants some crossover nods in the novel placing the Lama in the same universe as other pulp heroes. I won't list all of them, but I will name a few. Betty Dale, Secret Agent X's girlfriend, has a strong supporting role. One of the Lama's foes here, Omega, first appeared in Garcia's story "The Black Rock Conspiracy," included in the anthology The New Adventures of Foster Fade, the Crime Spectacularist. There are also nods to his other story in that anthology, "Dead Man's Guns." Evangl Stewart-Brown remembers her mother talking about vigilantes such as "the bat fellow and that doctor gentleman," referring to not only the Black Bat, but also a certain bronzed doctor as well. Finally, near the end of the book, the alter ego of a future lesser-known superhero of the 1940s (who was published by a company that also did Green Lama comics) and a being created by a certain legendary weird fiction writer appear.

Adam Lance Garcia is a tremendous talent, and I am always glad to recommend his work. I am very grateful to him for sending me a copy of this superb novel for review. I am very much looking forward to his future work with the character, including a crossover with the Black Bat in a forthcoming anthology of new stories featuring that character. Kudos as well to Moonstone Books, one of my favorite current publishers, for giving Adam's Green Lama stories a home!

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