Hunt For Harald's Gold

A Scottish DNA Love Story

Romance - Suspense
456 Pages
Reviewed on 02/21/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jack Dancer is a Floridian and transplanted Californian now living within a stone's throw of Little Switzerland in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his beautiful wife Linda and two four-legged children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Hunt for Harald's Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story by Jack Dancer is an engrossing tale that features elements of romance, subterfuge, intrigue, legendary tales, and characters that readers root for. It is a tale of adventure that follows Billie Skye, a compelling character, and Tucker, alongside other DNA-matched-for-true-love couples on a hunt for the legendary gold nugget left by a Viking King after an unsuccessful invasion of England in 1066. And how the gold nugget relates to the freedom of Scotland from the English occupiers is something that will surprise readers.

Jack Dancer’s novel doesn’t fit squarely into a genre. Beautifully crafted, it features interesting themes and compelling characters. Transgender and love, freedom, patriotism, loyalty, adventure, and revenge are some of the themes that are so ingeniously written into the narrative. Characters like Billie, Willie (disguised as Fiona), Tucker, and a host of other characters are well developed, with backgrounds that determine their role in the narrative. The conflict is handled at different levels and it is introduced right off the bat. The sense of mystery accompanies the narrative and it is also translated into the elements of the setting. The reader is transported to a Scotland of legend, brought to exotic places. The gorgeous writing captures the elements of the setting, providing the story with an exciting physical background, exploring lore and history. Hunt for Harald's Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story is the work of great imagination, deftly plotted and so skillfully written it grabs the attention of the reader and keeps it until the very last page.

K.C. Finn

Hunt For Harald’s Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story is a work of quirky romantic suspense fiction penned by author Jack Dancer. Playing on the themes of identical twins, transgenderism and mistaken identity, much of the plot focuses around Doctor Billie Skye, a woman wanted by assassins because of her involvement in witnessing an incredible development in bulletproof skin. Whilst Billie’s twin, Willie, has now transitioned into Fiona, looking identical to his sister, complications arise with Tucker, Billie’s intended life partner of the future. From here, events take an even more surreal turn as the politics and fate of Scotland fall into magical hands, and familiar real world situations mix with those of fantasy and fable.

Author Jack Dancer has created a surreal world with a strong internal logic that, once accessed, actually makes for a really rewarding read. Hunt For Harald’s Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story combines legend, fantasy, science fiction, action and fairy-tale tropes to form its own little world of techno-magical befuddlement. Readers who stick with the story will find themselves engrossed in the strange twists and turns that form the plot, and how some unexpected elements return and make better sense towards the end of the tale. Whilst Billie and Fiona are not the most fully rounded of heroines, their exploits are well timed and the mistaken identity element was very entertaining to see played out. Overall, Hunt for Harald’s Gold was a funny and memorable read which I’d recommend for adults seeking surreal amusement.

Divine Zape

Hunt for Harald's Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story by Jack Dancer is a multi-genre narrative with extraordinary characters, a mix of suspense and romance, and action that is nonstop. Doctor Billie Skye has witnessed enough slaughter for a lifetime, ten lifetimes. She’s also witnessed bulletproof skin and while she doesn’t yet understand how they have managed to create bulletproof skin and why, she also doesn’t know who did it and when. But danger awaits her — an assassin is sent by Big Johnson Mambo-Sambo to assassinate her, mistaking her for Willie, her brother. Billie has been DNA-matched for true love with Tucker Blue and Blue has been having escapades with Willie, who explores her transgender personality. Can Willie stop the assassination of “his” sister and help in the rescue of the abducted Nigerian girls?

There is a subplot, a story of adventure, and a hunt for a gold nugget belonging to a Viking king, Harald Hardrada, one left behind after an unsuccessful invasion of England back in 1066. Now the reader is enmeshed in a tale that features supernatural powers, the quest for the liberation of Scotland from the grip of the British. The tale is packed with information and historical references. The setting takes the reader through exciting landscapes and unveils a culture that is filled with mysterious beliefs. Hunt for Harald's Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story is fast paced and written in a style that is atmospheric. The writing is insightful and Jack Dancer crafts dialogues that are both exciting and enrich both the plot and character development. I loved the characters and the theme of science and how it is explored in the narrative. It is bold; it is ingeniously plotted; it is engrossing in the entertainment it gives readers.

Rabia Tanveer

Hunt For Harald's Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story by Jack Dancer is an interesting novel that simply grabbed my attention and wanted me to read on and on. While at first the story was a little confusing for me, as I read on everything started to become clearer. I enjoyed how the author seemed to merge romance, suspense, mythology, fantasy and science all together. I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed how the story flowed to make everything mesh together in the end.

This is the story of a woman named Billie who is a doctor. She was living her life just fine until she came in contact with a person with bulletproof skin. That incident made her into a murderer and five years after that, she became hunted. Believed to be her twin brother Willie who died years ago, there are people who are after her and want her dead. She has no idea what she ever did or what her brother did to make them a target for some pretty bad people, but she knows that she has to survive to live another day.

The story was intense and very well structured. The flow was great and the plot line developed pretty well. I enjoyed how the characters were given space to evolve and grow. The story line itself was brilliant; I enjoyed how the author mixed all of the themes together to create a cohesive mix that worked just right. Every new chapter brought out a new layer to the story and gave it depth. I enjoyed it very much!

Kathryn Bennett

Hunt For Harald's Gold: A Scottish DNA Love Story by Jack Dancer launches the reader right into its world. Doctor Billie Skye is involved in a gun battle and that is when the good doctor first notices bulletproof skin. Five years down the line from that incident an assassin has been sent to kill Billie. But nothing is as easy as it seems, because Billie has a long-thought-dead twin brother, Willie. Now Willie has been resurrected as Fiona, a completely transgendered woman that looks just like Billie. Fiona has many jobs, but perhaps the most important is needing to foil the assassination of twin Billie and save 100 Nigerian school girls who have been kidnapped to be used as organ donors.

Hunt For Harald's Gold is very interesting and quite good. It is certainly very different and unique, which is always a good thing when you are reading. The idea of twins, resurrection, and transgenderism all fitting into the same general story line is quite the feat of creative writing. The writing itself is done well, the world is fully realized, and the characters are very clear as they come across on the page. Everyone seems to have their own agenda and you aren’t always sure who you should be rooting for and that is before you get to the DNA love matches and ancient witch! I don’t want to give anything away, but if you want something completely different with a sprinkle of the familiar sprinkled in, this is a book you will want to check it out. I am going to read it a second time to see what else I pick up on, as I am sure I missed a few things, so while I do that you can head out and grab it for your first read through. Make sure you have some popcorn to snack on because you will be riveted by what is going on.