Review: Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks

Rating: 8/10

Synopsis

An ex-Spitfire pilot is dragged into a race against a shadowy government agency to unlock the secrets of the lost empire of Atlantis…

In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire – to ensure a civilisation-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what she have to sacrifice to save the world?

Review

Move over Indiana, Captain Moxley is in town.

Just give me a minute to catch my breath…, …, … That was one hell of a ride. This is a fast-paced book that doesn’t give you a second to process your feelings or recover from one action-packed event to the next which I believe is very intentional in putting you in Captain Moxley’s shoes. This allows the reader to experience exactly what our protagonist does throughout the journey. We feel every punch, kick and crash.

Dan Hanks creates a thunderously pulpy adventure with his debut. We join Captain Samantha Moxley in her gritty effort to reach a coveted treasure before a team of government agents. Along the way, they must travel the globe to unlock the puzzles and face numerous elaborate booby traps. Now I know that this is a tried and tested trope that some are exhausted with however Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire doesn’t feel like a story trying to convert these haters. It feels very much like a story aimed at the lovers of pulp adventure. Giving us lovers of the trope a chance to bask in all its gloriousness and revel in its triumph.

Our protagonist, Captain Samantha Moxley, is a headstrong adventurer that doesn’t know when to quit. She just keeps going no matter the odds. Samantha is joined on her quest by her sister, Jess, that is equally driven and strives to show her sister exactly what she is made of. Family dynamics are a big part of this story and we get to see true human nature when it comes to how far we will go to protect the ones we love. Dan Hanks gives us a fantastic character line up which we can easily relate in some fashion to all of them. Even the team of corrupt government agents have a little relatability to them. Although not too much as they have Nazis amongst their ranks.

One thing I wanted more of was the Captains back story. I feel the reader is a little teased at the beginning of the book with a glimpse to Captains Moxley’s background and her time as a Spitfire pilot. This really struck a chord with me and I was left a little deflated that I didn’t get more. This is more than made up for with the beautiful world the author creates. We get to see several areas of the world and the areas are described with such detail that even the most unimaginative amongst us can’t help but feel right there with Moxley and the team.

If you are a lover of pulp adventure with overly elaborate booby traps like me then I would highly recommend Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire to you. You will love it and if not then I will personally buy you a coffee for your trouble*. A fan of Indiana Jones and need to itch that scratch? Then get this book. It has everything you need to satisfy you. However, if overly elaborate booby traps are too far fetched for you then give this one a miss. There is a lot and they don’t stop coming. However, I loved it and any fan of the genre will. It has my guarantee.

*No I won’t, this is a blatant lie that I have no intentions on fulfilling.

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