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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 December 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The latest compelling action thriller from Chris Kuzneski, the first in a new series, has a great if not exactly original basis to work with. The Hunters are an 'A-team' of experts in heists, espionage, weaponry, technology, martial arts, history and languages, who have been assembled to undertake an improbable mission (or Mission Impossible), and yes, there's the tough female figure, the crazy joker, the smart charmer, the computer nerd and the solid reliable military veteran who make up their number. So no, not an original idea, but one that can work well if handled properly and Kuzneski is more than capable of that.

There are a couple of things that make this work well on the page as opposed to a CGI-packed action blockbuster movie. For a start, Kuzneski can write well enough to allow you to visualise the action in glorious High Definition. He creates a good historical context for the adventure in The Hunters, the assembled team being sent out to Russia and Romania on the trail of the missing Romanian national gold and treasure reserve, supposedly transported by train to Russia just before the Great War. At a time when Russia was undergoing great internal upheaval however, the whereabouts of the missing treasure is now unknown. To find it and retrieve it - when there are other mysterious and dangerous agencies looking for it as well - will require the combined efforts of experts across a range of disciplines.

That's where The Hunters comes into its own. It takes time to develop a team of characters with distinct personalities who between them combine a healthy balance between disciplined organisation and humorous unpredictability. There's also some moral ambiguity in who they are working for and their motivations for helping themselves to part of the national treasure of Romania. All this helps maintain some degree of credibility even as it knowing plays around with the conventions of adventure fiction, mixing myth and history to good effect in a location like Transylvania. The same kind of credibility doesn't really apply to the dark organisation of villains they run up against who, even if they have a realistic historical background as a cult founded on adherence to a mystical figure, are kind of cartoonish villains, but it's exactly the kind of highly dangerous colourful adversaries that the story needs.

It's the make-up of the team however that needs to be right in order to bring you back for more. Some of the characters are more developed in this book than others, but that just leaves room for the talents of the others to be brought out in the following mission, and chances are you'll have so much fun here that you'll definitely be looking forward to the next one after reading The Hunters.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 January 2013
This review is from: The Hunters (Hardcover)
Review

The Hunters started like many other action thrillers. An introduction to the hero's who have a certain high level hero skill set and then give them a mission.

What makes a good or a great thriller is making those hero's into people you like and care about, people who despite their skills seem real.

Add to that a mission that nots too outlandish, but is still of a scale to boggle the mind, just a little. and finally write it with great skill and pace.

There are only a few thriller writers around these days who can do this, some get 2 out of three (and that's still a great thriller, usually its the outlandish bit and they end up in the cheesy bracket...but they are fun in a different way)

So how does The Hunters stack up? for me it has all 3 of the ingredients needed to make a stunning thriller, and i can see why it has been chosen as his first ever hardback. The book literally explodes into life with a mission impossible style robbery. This is used exceptionally well to hook the reader, but also to then introduce the cast of the book and showcase their skills.

The book then quickly leads on to their true mission, the recovery of the missing Romanian treasure, the wealth of a nation. The backdrop for the story gives the author some stunning scenic imagery to play with which he weaves into the plot with style, and also a sense of love for the land, it wasnt until i had finished that I understood the family connection (the passion showed).

The book / team has humour, history, passion, talent, weapon skills, unarmed combat. It introduces famous figures from history in the Romanovs and also less savoury characters. Secret societies, neo nationalist organisations and all this in the back drop to a massive treasure hunt with an employer who is not all he seems. It leads to one of the best thrillers i have read this year. One of the best things at the end of the book was finding out that this is the start of a whole new series, im always after a good thriller, and now it looks like I have one a year on the way for a while.

So thank you Mr Kuzneski, this is a total hit with me, and I hope a hit with the world of thriller readers. A truly explosive action packed thrill ride of a treasure hunt.

Highly recommended

(Parm)

Other books by Chris Kuzneski

Payne and Jones

1. The Plantation (2000)

2. Sign of the Cross (2006)

3. Sword of God (2007)

4. The Lost Throne (2008)

5. The Prophecy (2009)

6. The Secret Crown (2010)

7. The Death Relic (2011)
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on 19 April 2014
I was, I have to say, reluctant to read this after reading the Payne/Jones series, written by the same author. I love Payne and Jones so wasn't sure that The Hunters, all new characters, would be of the same standard that I had come to expect from this author.

So after leaving a copy of this book to gather dust on the bookshelf for a few months, I took a deep breath, made myself a cup of tea and sat down to start to read it.

It wasn't Payne and Jones, however from the very first page it had me hooked.

The Hunters are an elite team made up of an ex-soldier, an historian, a computer whiz, a weapons expert and a thief. They are financed by a billionaire philanthropist who sends them on a mission to find the location and to bring back two trains of gold and possesions of the Romanian state that were sent to the underground vaults of the Kremlin in 1916, which are now missing.

The action in the book is fast paced. The book explodes into life from the first page, with a mission impossible style robbery, used to introduce the cast of the book and to show off their skills. Each character is an individual, having their strengths and weaknesses. I like how the female characters are as strong, in their own way, as the male characters, no weaklings here, but capable of standing on their own to fight. Kuzenski writes well and brings the story to life without endless description of what is happening. The book has humour, history, passion, talent, weapon skills, unarmed combat. It introduces famous figures from history in the Romanovs and also less savoury characters like Rasputin.

Naturally, as there usually is in these types of stories, there is a bad guy who also is after the treasure that the Hunters are seeking and we get to see how this elite crew deal with the situations they find themselves in and how the motives of their employer are not quite clear. By the end of the book I wanted to know more about their billionaire benefactor and what his motivations are, what the backgrounds of the various team members are and how they ended up on his list for his team of Hunters.

The ending sets up for the next book nicely. It has a nice twist an introduces a character from the Payne and Jones books, but it will spoil it if I tell you who. If you like action thrillers, then you will not be disappointed if you read this.
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on 5 April 2016
I have to remember back to the original books of Payne and Jones to remember they grew on me!

So for the Hunters? The jury is out, I feel a little bit confused as to whether these treasure hunters are actually the good people or equally the bad ones. They do some good stuff but also some bad stuff - or did I fall asleep in the middle and re-awoke to a different chapter.

The elite team has been put together by a billionaire philanthropist, and they are from different walks of life, a soldier, computer whizzard, and others, both sexes so makes for a good story line. They are after some treasure, so we go back into history, maybe a little to deep, but we visit the Romanovs and some vile creatures, some that are fascits, some bullies.
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on 31 July 2015
This was a good read and kept me turning pages. Fast pace action across barren landscapes in an old locomotive engine starting of in Russia trying to find the Romanian royal treasure that was taken out of Romania during the first world war fearing a German victory. But as usual there are lots of other people who also want the location of treasure for other reasons other than the treasure itself, the body of Rasputin the mad monk which was with the treasure when smuggled out of Russia years later during a great upheaval of power within the country itself. A good solid action read.
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on 15 January 2015
Just finished this book and after reading the 5stars thought it was going to be really good but unfortunately I found it really hard going at times and boring to be truthful but I plodded on to the end probably as I wanted to know the ending even though you have a good idea. As for the treasure there wasn't really a great deal mentioned about it just locomotion's which was a great disappointment. I do hope the next in the series is better as due to all the rave reviews I bought the Forbidden tomb at the same time I think perhaps I'll read some of the 3 and 4 star reviews before purchasing next time
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on 16 May 2014
Really really like Chris Kuzneski books,but always a little apprehensive when they go in a different direction (like Andy Mcdermott with the disappointing Persona protocol or James Rollins with those rubbish vampire books co written with never heard of Rebecca Cantrill) Not to fear,Kuzneski has brought this new series out brilliantly.

Basically,without ruining things,he combines a team of independent experts (some are slightly on the rough edge of things or nearly criminals) to find long forgotten items/artifacts whatever you want to call them.the diversity with his jones/payne is there,but i do like little mentions to persons who appear basically in cameo roles in his original series.

Thoroughly exciting,well worth the money,i do have a sneaking suspicion that there could be up to eight books in the series,from the clues within,and I can't wait! Excellent
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on 2 March 2015
this is a very good book I couldn't put it down once I started it and every minute I got to read I did, it was fast moving and exciting from the start to finish, there were a couple of chapters that i had to re read as I'd lost the thread but that was probably down to me..... I recommend this book to people looking for an adventure....
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on 5 May 2014
I have read everything written by this author and yet again he hasn't failed to deliver. This is the first (and hopefully more will follow) book in a new series with different characters. I loved McNutt, he was so funny. The book flowed and as usual CK had me searching the internet for the places he mentions. Some of them were absolutely stunning. That's what I like about his books - they entertain and educate! Won't spoil it for people who have not read it, but loved, just loved the ending. How nice to see PU again!
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on 14 August 2013
Quite a change from his Payne and Jones books, but this is spectacular. Essentially this is a story about a group of strangers - who are pulled together by one controlling force in order to hunt for gold. The characters are well developed and from a range of backgrounds (Historian, Asian, Translator, Russian, Nerd etc) but still they meld well together and you find yourself visually entranced in their world. Everytime I put the book down I had a melange of accents running through my head.

It is cleverly written and I am sure someone will buy the rights and make this into a movie - it already seems like a movie but in book format. Wow
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