Book Review: “Hart for Adventure” by Henry Vogel

Hart for AdventureBack in May, I wrote about Vogel’s Scout’s Honor, the first in his sword-and-planet Scout series. Hart for Adventure is a prequel to that series, and it fits in well. It follows Terran scout Gavin Hart, who crash lands on a world that appears deserted, finding only the overgrown ruins of an alien city.

Hart soon finds his way to a mysterious chamber where he is knocked unconscious and reawakens to find the planet around him teeming with life—not all of it friendly, as he soon discovers when he clashes with a marauding warlord and his hordes.

Hart, with his superior technology, quickly gains some allies, who see him as almost God-like. However, even these advantages, survival is no sure thing, especially once Hart uncovers the mind-bending and (not to give away too much) time-bending nature of the peril he faces.

The prose is crisp and the plot is fast-paced. There isn’t too much description—I would have liked a bit more—but there was enough to get an idea of the world where Hart’s swashbuckling adventures take place. 

If you’ve already read some of Vogel’s other Scout books, you’ll have a feel for this: daring good guys, evil bad guys, lots of sword fights and other Edgar Rice Burroughs-esque escapades. Like the other books in the series, it’s an unashamed throwback to that style of fun-loving old-fashioned adventure story. Don’t go in expecting deep, intricate world-building or characters—this is light, breezy reading that makes for perfect sci-fi/fantasy escapism.

This book was shorter than Scout’s Honor—more a sketch than the fully-realized world—but it works well as a prequel to the main series. If you haven’t read the other Scout books, this is a fine introduction to the series. And if you have read them and want more sword-and-planet adventures, this is a perfect way to get your fix.

[NOTE: This review is based on ARC of the book, received from the author.]


  1. Great review! Gives me a good idea of what to expect. Haven’t read ‘Scout’s Honor’ yet so shall start with this one. And the Kindle version is on a special release price at the moment 🙂

    Coincidentally, boys and I watched Screen Junkies Honest Trailer for the Indiana Jones trilogy last night, which got me thinking of, to quote you, “fun-loving, old-fashioned adventure stories”. This sounds like it will do the job very nicely 🙂

    1. Ah, yes–Indiana Jones is exactly that kind of story. Another throwback to the classic serials of the past.

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the book.

  2. The world needs more honest escapism books (with a few thrills thrown in of course). I’ve read them (or heard as audio books) in other genres and they are quite like going on holiday, relaxing and invigorating.
    Again good review!

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