Higher Cause by John Hunt

This review is part of a series covering each installment of the serialized novel Higher Cause, written by John Hunt and published by Laissez Faire Books. To catch up, start with the announcement, the book’s link-rich table of contents, and the first review.

Higher Cause by John Hunt

The sixth week of Higher Cause starts and ends the way the fifth week did: with the Jeff Baddori story line. However, this week there is a return to Petur on the island in between. Both story lines leave us with a tease, a twist of mystery.

The Jeff Baddori story line is going full steam. We left him in dire straits last week, and we begin with his recovery this week. The opening segment takes us through his mostly unconscious state before he fully wakes, and I thought it was well done. When he finally gets back home to the United States, he reunites with Sophia, his love interest, but when he talks to her about his experiences he learns from her that something about his trip to Russia was not as he had thought it was.

It is the last thing we learn before the chapter ends, and it is a great way to leave the reader on the edge of the proverbial cliff. Publishing the novel in serial form makes this sort of thing especially beneficial, even necessary, and Hunt has pulled it off a couple times now to nice effect.

The middle chapter was more problematic. Though at the end there is a discovery that pertains to the story, the prologue of the book above all, it takes a while to get there. The rest of the chapter deals with the “Hash,” a sort of cross-island marathon with odd rules that is more for fun than competition. It is drawn out in great detail and while it is pleasant to see a culture develop on the island, it is not what the story is about. I feel the Hash should have been related to us in briefer form.

After the last Petur chapter, where we saw him under attack, I would have expected his next chapter to deal with some sort of investigation. The novel breezes past this and takes us off on a tangent instead. The story, in other words, sits in neutral for a bit before that discovery at the very end.

Apart from one error at the outset, there was little trouble with grammar. There is the occasional bit of dialogue that I think could be polished, but all in all it was another successful portion. Readers who have come along for the ride so far are unlikely to get off before next week’s delivery, given the nature of the revelation in Jeff’s second chapter.

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About the Author

Matthew Bruce Alexander Staff Writer

Matthew is a libertarian living in central Ohio. A graduate of Ohio State University, he majored in Spanish and has published a work of libertarian science-fiction called Wĭthûr Wē.

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