Hank Brown’s Tier Zero is old school action adventure pulp like the books Pinnacle was publishing back in the 1970s and 1980s. Those books pretty much died out in the 1980s when guys like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis started hitting the big screen with their testosterone laden blowouts because it was easier to watch a VHS tape than read a book.
But the appetite for those action movies has never completely died out. A look at the current crop of movies reveals that present day audiences still enjoy them. Strangely enough, those same action stars of the 1980s have also made a return to the big screen, older and packing more heat than ever!
The setup in the book is very familiar to anyone in the venue. I slipped right into the narrative as we’re introduced to the Bad Guys (despicable, actually) and the Big Mistake they make (kidnapping one of our hero’s daughter/niece). From there we moved right into getting to know the heroes as the team begins to assemble and the mission gets laid out.
Brown doesn’t cover any new ground in his novel, but he doesn’t intend to. This is a salute to the books that shaped him as a writer, a tour de force of the kind of fiction he grew up on and still enjoys. Sure, the writing creaks a bit here and there, but the action gets really big and the pacing is a marathon that turns into a sprint at the finish.