Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rick Brant #20 Veiled Raiders and #21 Rocket Jumper

In Rick Brant #20, The Veiled Raiders, Rick and Scotty travel to Africa with Tony Briotti.  Tony plans to check whether an archaeological find is significant enough to warrant a dig.  The three also plan to join Parnell Winston later for a satellite communications demonstration.  Rick, Scotty, and Tony end up abducted and imprisoned by an Emir who seeks vengeance against all Americans because he believes that an American fed him a pork hot dog.

I have browsed through both old and more recent discussions of the Rick Brant books, and around 15 years ago, a number of fans thought that the premise with the hot dog was farfetched and weak.  Now, many fans realize that it actually isn't farfetched at all.  Events from recent years show that this story is more realistic than fans once thought.  In fact, if the book's events were to happen right now, the Emir's reaction would likely be far stronger than how it was depicted in the book.

In The Veiled Raiders, Rick and his friends have to overcome overwhelming obstacles.  Many series books feature everything working out as expected, especially when great effort is applied.  In The Veiled Raiders, the boys experience failure over and over in spite of very detailed planning but manage to persevere in the end with great struggle.  Interestingly, some fans do not like this book because of the struggles, while this book is a great favorite of other fans.

So what do I think?  This book is awesome.  It is very engaging from start to finish.  It grabbed my attention quickly and held my attention firmly with no boring parts.  I often grow tired towards the end of books when the falling action drags, but no part of this book dragged.  I loved reading every passage in the book, so I place this book as one of the three Rick Brant books I have enjoyed the most, along with The Phantom Shark and The Wailing Octopus.

In Rick Brant #21, Rocket Jumper, Rick and Scotty go to Nevada with Dr. Winston to work on a top-secret project.  Information has leaked out about the project, and Rick and Scotty are to keep their eyes open for anything strange.  Since Dr. Winston had promised Barby and Jan that they would get to go on the next expedition, they get to go to Nevada as well.

The culprits were rather obvious in this book, but that did not take away from my enjoyment of the story.  I enjoyed trying to figure out how the culprits were getting the information.

This book is thoroughly engaging, and even some of the science is interesting as well.  I did, however, have to skim some of the scientific descriptions.  The climax of this book is quite thrilling and is among the very best in the Rick Brant series.  This is an excellent book.   

1 comment:

Father David said...

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed The Veiled Raiders. I've often thought that it was an underrated book in the Rick Brant series. It provides some important information about Scotty that wasn't revealed in any other book (his skill with magic, for example), and the fact that the protagonists are held captive for most of the book makes it stand out from any other series book. The first time I read it, I thought the major flaw was the unconvincing premise that the Emir would act in such a ridiculous fashion against an imagined slight--which we now know was very realistic indeed.