Saturday, July 26, 2014

Book Review: Hurricane Fever by Tobias Buckell

Hurricane Fever by Tobias Buckell


Prudence “Roo” Jones is long retired from working in the Caribbean Intelligence Group, the Caribbean version of the CIA. But that doesn’t stop his old partner Zee from sending him one last voicemail. Zee is dead, and he’s got some information that will help Roo find Zee’s killers. Multiple ocean storms, the inability to decipher the meaning of Zee’s information, and the sudden appearance of Zee’s long hidden sister Kit spur Roo to action he doesn’t want to take. He’s retired, after all. But he can’t help getting drawn into a plot that could end up in a huge culling of the world population. And thanks to Zee, Roo is the only one with the information to stop it.

That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from

A storm is coming…
When former spy Roo Jones receives an unexpected package from a dead friend, he’s yanked out of a comfortable retirement and is suddenly embroiled in a global conspiracy involving a weapon that could change the face of the world forever.
But as one of the largest hurricanes to hit the Caribbean begins to sweep through the area, Roo just may find that time is running out – not just for himself, but the whole world…
Perfect for fans of action-packed espionage, Hurricane Fever is a kinetic techno-thriller for a new generation.


Fans of spy novels, you’ve got a winner here. You get the gadgets and the fun, and for those of use who don’t live in the Caribbean, well there’s your exotic locales right there. We have a psychotic villain bent on changing the world to fit his own design.

I’ve got to say, I was at least a quarter of the way into the book before I realized it wasn’t actually set in the now. Hurricane Fever has a timeframe that’s hard to pin down. It could be an alternate present or a not-too-distant future. But it wasn’t a point of contention for me. It wasn’t something for me to dwell on. I just sank into it, enjoying coming across technology we don’t have. But I could accept the tech, especially the medical treatments, because they were just matter of course for Roo. It’s just the way that world is. Attention wasn’t brought to them as being odd, and I loved that about the setting. There was all this cool stuff, but it didn’t distract from the plot. They supported events.

I also didn’t realize until the afterword that Hurricane Fever isn’t the first book that Roo Jones appears in. You may want to check out Buckell’s other works. This is the first one that is starring Roo, though. He’s a very easy character to love. I didn’t feel left out by not having read any of Buckell’s other novels, but having read Hurricane Fever does make me eager to read more.


Tobias Buckell has a writing style that is clean and easy to read. As I mentioned before, he knows how to offer details of setting without them drawing attention from what’s happening. He has a light hand when it comes to that information. It shows a masterful control of his material and the language he’s using to bring the reader to discover a detail of the world that you didn’t know before while still following the actual content of the sentence. I’m honestly in awe of his skill here. I do feel like his work in the action scenes was a little clipped. I wouldn’t have minded a little more detail when there was some real crap going down and the bullets were flying.

My Thoughts

I spent quite some time in my high school years reading all the James Bond novels I could get my hands on, and Buckell has brought me back to that love I used to have for the genre. In fact, if there are books out there like this, new spy novels of this caliber, then I need to reacquaint myself with this old flame. I admit I did have a little bit of culture shock or maybe geography shock from this being set wholly in the Caribbean, but it was so easy to sink into the characters that I got over that quickly. Buckell tugged at my emotions more than once. There were a few tidbits I wouldn’t have minded a little more information on, and in comparison to the Bond novels I was used to in this genre, this seemed short. I’m not saying it was uncomfortably short for a novel. It was a good solid length. I think my own expectations might be a tad biased toward the length and convolutions of Bond novels, though. I wasn’t unsatisfied with Hurricane Fever by any means. I think it’s my own inexperience with this particular genre that left me with furrowed brows at how quickly it ended.

Would I Recommend This Book? I definitely would! Hurricane Fever is an exciting, risky, emotional roller coaster of a novel. Buckell isn’t afraid to hurt his characters. This is a great read that will bring you flying into the Caribbean and won’t let go. Hurricane Fever gets a two-hulled 4 out of 5 stars.

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