Volume 23, Number 03, Spring, 2005

The Black Arrow

By Vin Suprynowicz

Mountain Media, 2005, $24.95
Reviewed by Fran Tully
Spring 2005

The Black Arrow is a futuristic tale of hope and resistance. Set in the year 2030, it opens in the streets of Gotham. The reader is introduced to a world where homeland security has blossomed and bestowed upon us its wonderful “protection” against terrorism—not only in our airports, but right off busy sidewalks at impromptu “portals.” Passers-by are treated to an inspection for weapons, illegal software, drugs, and proper ID. Of course, if they don’t find any problems, inspectors often treat themselves to a good grope or other sexual rewards from the defenseless citizens in this new “police state.” Ah, but on the rooftops and in the shadows lurks the Black Arrow—a hero along the lines of Batman, or Superman. While the book may open with an almost comic book feel, we soon learn that it is a serious, believable novel that stirs our souls much like the film, Spartacus.

With The Black Arrow, Vin has given us a real treasure. For example, when was the last time that “Passionate,” “Sexy,” ”Stylish,” “Thought-provoking,” ”Funny,” ”Exhilarating!” ”Action-packed!” and “Tear-jerker” were all used to describe the same book—let alone a book about freedom???

The characters are so real, likable, and unique that you believe that you know them. The Black Arrow starts out with a righteous assassination by an archer. The ancient method of attack is chosen to effectively render the vast “SonicNet gunfire detection grid” about as useful as the ancient Maginot Line.

Later, we find that the resistance is equally proficient with blades, martial arts, or firearms. I found it extremely refreshing to read a novel with technically accurate gun battles. Without going overboard or getting too technical, the author provides the reader with a real sense of what it feels like, sounds like, and looks like to engage an armed enemy while equipped with bows and guns. After some of the shooting scenes, you’ll actually find yourself with ringing ears yawning, trying to get your ears to pop, as though a low-flying jet had just broken Mach One overhead.

The masterful word pictures put you on the front line. You feel the cold rain, are aroused by the sex, and smell the dark, dank, vast Gotham underground. This is a thriller with soul. You will go from laughing out loud, to shaking with sheer hatred, and then down to a lump in your throat—from the tear-jerking romance.

If you’re part of the “gun culture,” you’ll feel absolutely privileged to be surrounded by serious, well-trained, freedom fighters that not only practice good muzzle control, but also let you in on their thoughts before and after they pull the trigger. You find yourself understanding their justification for their conflict and their willingness to “hold the line”—despite their terrible odds of survival.

Some of the scenes are so heinous that you question the need to be so graphic; after all, no government could be that cruel. And then you recall that you’ve seen these stories before…you remember that these are real events. Vin has craftily taken the most horrific injustices to our liberties and magically made them appear as current news items in 2030. The Black Arrow is a must-read for romantics, libertarians, resistance fighters, and anyone who is passionate about life. It also provides the ultimate solution for the elimination of “boot-on-your-neck” politics.

The dialogue is witty and sharp. The history lessons and quotes from the founding fathers are timeless and pertinent.

Vin has given us a stunning first novel that is sure to be a timeless classic among such greats as Atlas Shrugged, The Count of Monte Cristo, Animal Farm, 1984, and Unintended Consequences. Get the limited edition, leather-bound printing while it lasts and pass it on to your grandchildren. It is guaranteed to stir even the faintest glowing cinder of patriotism into a raging fire of resistance. I can’t wait to see what Vin will come up with next—and I hope it is soon.

About the author: Vin Suprynowicz, a collector of surplus military firearms, spent his youth in New England and worked his way through school as a disc jockey, short-order cook, motel night clerk, and member of the relentlessly unsuccessful rock & roll band, The Four Shadowings of Doom. Vin has had an extensive, award-winning career in journalism and is currently a columnist and editorial writer at Nevada’s largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He is also the author of two non-fiction books Send in the Waco Killers and The Ballad of Carl Drega. Both of his non-fiction works were awarded Freedom Book of the Year by Free-Market.net and The Black Arrow is certain to win it this year. The targets of Vin’s books and columns include taxation, gun control, and the War to Spread Pain (more generally dubbed the “War On Some Drugs.”)

But Homeland Security and our new national pastime, the airport grope-and-grab, also do not escape his literary scalpel.

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