Friday, July 31, 2015

Tom Quest #7 Inca Luck Piece and #8 Timber Giant

In Tom Quest #7, The Inca Luck Piece, Hamilton Quest is asked to study a stone that came from an Inca temple.  The stone contains uranium, and the United States government wants to locate the source of the uranium before communists can exploit the information.

This book feels different from the rest of the series.  Almost the entire book is set inside a mansion on an island in the St. Lawrence River.  The plot is solely a mystery and not an adventure.  Someone who is staying in the mansion is trying to learn about the source of the uranium, so Tom, Whiz, and Gulliver investigate.

The book strongly reminds me of a few of the higher-numbered Beverly Gray books that are mysteries.  While some of the similarity is because of the story, the rest is because of the actual book itself.  The book is a Clover edition, and the higher-numbered Beverly Gray books are Clover editions.  The pulp paper in the Clover books has a certain smell, which reminded me strongly of Beverly Gray.
The previous book, The Secret of Thunder Mountain, has an advertisement for this book.  The ad reads:
What was the significance of the Inca Talisman?  What connection did it have with the project Tom Quest and his friends were conducting in a hidden valley in the Andes?  You'll find the answers to these questions in the exciting story of Tom's next daring adventure, a story so packed with thrills and surprises that you won't put it down till you have finished it.  It's called

The title is a draft title that was changed before The Inca Luck Piece was published.  This is common to have a title that is wrong in a blurb for the next book in the series.  What strikes me as strange is that the plot is also wrong.  Tom and his friends do not conduct a search in a valley.  They spend nearly the entire book in a mansion and aren't searching anywhere for anything.

In Tom Quest #8, The Mystery of the Timber Giant, Tom, Whiz, and Gulliver come to the aid of two men who are at risk of being swindled out of their land which contains valuable timber.

By the title of the book, I expected a giant man to be the focus of the plot.  Gulliver is rather large, but he is not the timber giant.  The timber giant is the man in charge of the syndicate responsible for cheating men out of their land.

From page 170:
Gulliver's indifference to peril would never cease to be a source of wonderment to Tom Quest and Whiz Walton.  The big man sat grinning as if highly amused at the sight of the stranger who held the gun.

"Now," he said, "things are gittin' interestin'.  Speak yo' piece, stranger.  Why'd yo' come here wavin' that hardware?"
And that is why Gulliver is so amazing.  He is truly the star of the series.

This book is a rewrite of Fran Striker's book, Gene Autry and the Redwood Pirates.  I have not read the Gene Autry book, but I have heard that this book is better than the original version.

I greatly enjoyed this book.

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