Sunday, 9 September 2012

Review: The Trail of the Red Diamonds by L. Ron Hubbard

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

The 1930s and the 1940s has been called the Golden Age, a time where people didn't sit at home watching reality television and surfing the internet. People spent their free time going to movie shows and they also read magazines and dime store books. During these years many fancy magazines and pulp magazines were in circulation, which gave authors an opportunity to publish short stories. Since there were so many different types of fiction magazines, authors published their short stories in record numbers and this was a good way to make a little extra income as most magazines paid per word.

One of these authors was L. Ron Hubbard. The majority of the general public knows him as the guy who invented Scientology and some may turn away when they see his name because of it without realizing that he was also a talented author. Stories from the Golden Age is releasing his short stories in paperbacks and audiobooks, in which they kindly sent me this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

L. Ron Hubbard often used different pen names during these years, in which case he used the name Lt. Jonathan Daly for the story The Trail of the Red Diamonds that first appeared in the January 1935 issue of Thrilling Adventures. The main character's name just happens to be Lt. Jonathan Daly who is recovering from being shot at the Gran Chaco hospital. While there he happens to get a hold of the manuscript about Marco Polo's travels. The book reveals the location of Kublai Khan's burial.

What was Khan buried with?

Rare red diamonds!

Lt. Jonathan Daly uses the book to follow the same route that Marco Polo took as Daly plans on claiming the red diamonds for himself, but there are many challenges and betrayals on his journey.

There is also another of Hubbard's tale in the audiobook. The story is called Hurricane's Roar and it first appeared in the April 1939 issue of Thrilling Adventure and is about a pilot named Jim Dahlgren, but the Chinese call him either Feng-Feng or Wind-Gone-Mad. It's less of adventure and more of a war tale, in which Wind-Gone-Mad get involves in both sides of a provincial war. He tries to end the war, but he may end up creating an even bigger mess in the process.

The Trail of the Red Diamonds flies by quickly as I wasn't aware that an hour had gone by. The story reminds me of Indiana Jones! It is a fun adventure tale set in China as is the story Hurricane's Roar. The second story starts off slow, but it picks ups the pace about twenty minutes into it. The voice cast is excellent and the sound effects make you feel that you are right there with the characters. If you like adventure tales, then I recommend this audiobook.

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