Hellboy: The Dragon Pool

It should come as no surprise by now that if there is another Hellboy book out, I’m buying it. This time around, Christopher Golden returns to helm The Dragon Pool. Of all the authors to come to Hellboy, Christopher is my favorite, with Tim Lebbon coming a close second.

The Dragon Pool is about the legend of King Dragon, who has been depicted as a tyrant and all around bad guy. Eventually his reign was ended and his temple and city faded into history. But archaeologists have come to a mountain plateau and lake to excavate what they think was the King’s long lost city. The leader of the expedition (Anastasia Bransfield), however, believes that the legends obfuscate the truth, and that King Dragon wasn’t just a clever name, but he was, in fact, a dragon. When she turns out to be right, its bad news for everyone because their digging has reawakened the once defeated sleeping dragon and his followers, and she makes the call to bring in the BPRD.

Christopher actually has two tales here. The first is the dig, the dragon and all the mystery that surrounds it all. The second story is that of Hellboy and Anastasia’s history together. Once the closest of friends and lovers, they parted ways because their close association was affecting Anastasia’s credibility in professional circles. Now working together again, they can’t help but be conflicted by their feelings. One of the reasons why Mr. Golden stands out to me in the Hellboy series of books, is that he manages these two stories without them stepping on each other, they flow together well, compliment each other, and each is resolved.

All in all, The Dragon Pool is a fine addition to the Hellboy series, and like all the others I recommend it.

On Earth As It Is In Hell

I picked up the new Hellboy book On Earth As It Is In Hell warily. I really enjoyed the last two by Christopher Golden and seeing a new author on the books, well, I wondered if they’d have a similar touch to the tale that I found so interesting in the previous books. My apprehension was unwarranted in the end as the book proved to be quite good. Excellent in fact. Brian Hodge did a great job putting you not only into Hellboy’s head, but the heads of all the members of the BPRD. In fact, this book reads more like it should be titled a Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence book instead of a Hellboy novel.

The short version… Seraphim show up at the Vatican and try to burn a priest and the document he is studying. Turns out the document may or may not have been written by an elderly Jesus Christ, who survived the crucifixion and ended up in a place called Masada (real place, about which a number of odd stories surround). So the Vatican, or rather a small group of priests who want to protect the document and actually reveal it to the world, calls in the BPRD to protect the pages until they can figure out who wants them burned. Only, as usual, Hellboy and his team get in a bit deeper than intended, and don’t sit on the sidelines where the Vatican wants them to stay.

A good solid read, and kept me turning pages all the way through. Another book I highly recommend.