A Novel by Francis Hamit

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
658 Pages
Reviewed on 07/06/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Starmen by Francis Hamit is an intelligently crafted novel that fits into multiple genres. It blends historical fiction, magical realism, and science fiction elements to create a captivating tale that will enthrall readers. Set in the American Southwest in 1875, the story follows George James Frazer, a budding anthropologist, as he becomes entangled in a web of intrigue and supernatural mystery. He seeks help from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to contact a local Apache tribe. When a balloon carrying a troupe of circus performers appears in the skies over El Paso, the detectives at the Pinkerton office decide to investigate. The discovery that the mystery of the balloon could be backed by the British Ethnographic Society—an organization commonly used as a cover by the British Secret Service —creates intrigue. Thus begins a tale filled with intrigue and adventure.

Hamit's writing immediately arrested my attention. This author brings his characters to life with depth, exploring their motivations and humanity with skill. Frazer is an exceptionally well-developed protagonist, driven by his determination to uncover the truth behind the strange occurrences in El Paso. The supporting cast is equally impressive, with each character adding a unique perspective to the narrative. The plot is expertly woven, with multiple storylines intersecting and colliding unexpectedly. Hamit's ability to balance action and political intrigue stands out. The narrative features a sophisticated setting, and the author weaves compelling imagery into the tale. Starmen by Francis Hamit is cleverly plotted, deft, and balanced, a story that is as suspenseful as it is action-packed.

Christian Sia

Starmen by Francis Hamit is an ambitious and thrilling novel that throws caution to the wind in terms of genre-bending. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency's office welcomes the arrival of a young English anthropologist, George James Frazer, seeking to establish contact with the local Apache tribe. But his quest is suddenly disrupted by a phenomenon that defies explanation: a massive hot air balloon descends from the skies, carrying a troupe of circus performers. As Frazer becomes embroiled in the mystery, he hurtles into a world of political intrigue. Who is behind the balloon? The Apache tribe holds secrets threatening to upend his understanding of the world, while the balloon's occupants seem to possess otherworldly abilities. As the stakes escalate, Frazer must navigate a web of intrigue that weaves historical fact and fiction, detective work, and scientific theory together. But can he unravel the mystery?

With its unique blend of historical and speculative elements, Starmen is a story that will intrigue readers. Francis Hamit writes in exquisite prose and imbues the narrative with compelling imagery and engaging dialogues. The descriptions are terrific and give readers a strong sense of place. The scenes are focused, and the points of view are well-crafted, providing clarity to the plot and the scenes. George James Frazer is a likable protagonist on an adventure that takes him across the American Southwest, from the dusty streets of El Paso to the mystical realms of Apache mythology, as he unravels the threads of a mystery that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of reality. This suspenseful tale has so much to offer, from the excellent writing to the stunning plot points, from the deft characterization to the complex setting.

K.C. Finn

Starmen is a work of fiction in the historical, adventure, and science fiction genres. It is best suited to adult readers as it has some sexual references and scenes of violence. Penned by author Francis Hamit, this multi-genre novel begins with a young English anthropologist, George James Frazer, seeking assistance from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to contact a local Apache tribe. The plot takes a fantastical turn when a massive hot air balloon carrying a troupe of circus performers appears overhead. Blending Apache folklore and beliefs with modern science, quantum mechanics, and string theory, a rich tapestry of intrigue and adventure unfolds as the mystery deepens.

Author Francis Hamit has crafted a captivating and immersive novel that is truly unique for its many different influences and thematic choices. The historical setting, opening the novel in 1875 El Paso, provided a fascinating backdrop with plenty of atmospheric charm. The settings and vistas each brought with them a keen sense of shifting moods to match the emotion of the discoveries at play. There’s a real sense of whimsy and fantasy in Hamit’s narrative that shows the author’s confidence in storytelling, and this extends to the strange and wonderful cast of characters that populate his story world. Hamit's incorporation of Apache mythology alongside scientific concepts is handled with great capability and sensitivity, offering an intriguing and thought-provoking clash of ideas. The particular genre elements of detective work, political thriller, and romantic writing rise to the fore as the novel progresses, offering a rich and multi-layered adventure with a lot to enjoy. Overall, Starmen is a complex and enchanting story that I would certainly recommend for fans of detailed science fiction adventures with plenty of history and mystery involved.