Showing posts with label Able Team. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Able Team. Show all posts

Monday, April 12, 2021

Paperback Warrior Podcast - Episode 86

On Episode 86 of the Paperback Warrior Podcast, we explore team-based action adventure series including Phoenix Force, Alpha Team, SOBs, and so many more. This is a jam-packed episode that men’s adventure paperback fans won’t want to miss. Listen on any podcast app or or download directly HERE

Listen to "Episode 86: Action-Adventure Teams" on Spreaker.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Able Team #02 - The Hostaged Island

It's no secret that I really disliked Tower of Terror, the 1982 debut of the long-running Able Team series. I discussed it on the podcast and you can also read my review here. After reading the far superior Phoenix Force debut, I was interested in reading another Able Team installment in hopes for a triumphant rebound. I chose the series second installment, The Hostaged Island, published in 1982 by Gold Eagle. It was authored by L.R. Payne and Norman Winski.

The book's opening chapters are reminiscent of the old 80s action-flick Invasion USA. Hundreds of psychotic, horny and heavily armed bikers “invade” Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. The deal is that they will start raping and dismembering the island’s residents if they don't receive a nuclear submarine loaded with twenty-million in gold. Of course the government doesn't negotiate with bikers, so fearless Stony Farm director Hal Brognola assigns Able Team to locate and destroy the marauders.

Like many of the Mack Bolan Universe books, The Hostaged Island doesn't concentrate solely on the heroic trio. Thankfully, the authors create civilian heroes who work behind the scenes attempting to fight the enemy or simply survive. This was the best element of the series debut and one that allows readers to experience first-hand atrocities. Much of the book follows Catalina Island resident Greg and his pregnant wife Ann as they move from house to house hoping to avoid the bikers. Since most of the island is being held hostage in a local gym, Greg and Ann's story was enhanced by a “ghost town” or post-apocalyptic vibe.

Of course Lyons, Blancanales and Schwarz are the stars and they really make the most of their stage work. Unlike the debut, I really liked that all three heroes worked together through pages and pages of high-octane action. From a precarious raft landing on the beach to sniping off the bad guys from a tower, the authors spared no bullets in the good versus evil traditional concept. I felt the characters really worked as a team and finally were able to strut their stuff without all of the interviews and planning that bogged down the debut installment.

If you want balls to the wall, over-the-top zany action, The Hostaged Island delivers it in spades. This was just a real pleasure to read and rejuvenated me on the potential for more and greater gems within this long-running series. Highly recommended! 

Buy a copy of this book HERE

Monday, January 25, 2021

Paperback Warrior Podcast - Episode 75

On Episode 75 of the Paperback Warrior Podcast, the guys discuss Canyon O’Grady, Ledru Baker Jr., Able Team, Bagging Books, Longarm, Trailsman, Robert Randisi, and more! Listen on any podcast app or at, or download directly HERE:

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Able Team #01 - Tower of Terror

With The Executioner's overwhelming retail success, it was just a matter of time before publisher Gold Eagle would expand the Mack Bolan universe. In June 1982, Gold Eagle launched two successful spinoff series - 'Able Team' and 'Phoenix Force'. The publisher used The Executioner's creator, Don Pendleton, on the covers of the first three novels of each series as a co-author. Of course the author had no hand in the writing, it was only a marketing scheme to lure consumers familiar with the Pendleton name. Instead, house names were assigned to each series: Gar Wilson for Phoenix Force and Dick Stivers for Able Team. Like the later Bolan installments, the books were really penned by a revolving door of authors. We're examining the debut Able Team book, “Tower of Terror”, authored by L.R. Payne. It was the first of 51 total series installments.

In the Vietnam War, Sergeant Mack Bolan commanded a special forces unit called Team Able. Much later, Bolan's crusade against the mafia warranted Bolan to call upon his old team again. These events occurred in “The Executioner #02: Death Squad”. Unfortunately, the entire team was killed in that battle except Bolan, Rosario “ Politician” Blancanales and Herman “Gadgets” Schwarz. Both of these former members have served Bolan periodically throughout his war (and the book series). Carl Lyons is a former Los Angels Police Sergeant that became Bolan's ally during his West Coast mob fight. Under the direction of Bolan and Stony Farm director Hal Brognola, these three men combine as a trio to fight criminal cells within the U.S. Thus, Able Team is born.

In the series debut, a Puerto Rican terrorist group called FALN have claimed a Wall Street skyscraper. Thankfully, they chose to do this on a Saturday morning when the building is mostly empty. Quickly the terrorists commandeer the facility and plant bombs on nearly every floor. A Vietnam Vet turned business executive ushers a dozen employees to safety on one of the building's higher floors and the call goes out that the building is wired to blow. The NYPD calls the FBI who then calls Stony Man to get Able Team on the scene.

The problem lies in the fact that Able Team spends 160-pages of this 187-page novel running all over town hunting clues on who the terrorists are. Mercifully, they arrive at the building as the book closes but only have a brief encounter with the primary villains. This is acceptable if the hunting was more of a character developing storyline that delved into police procedural. Maybe it is my love of Mid-20th Century crime-noir, but I found the investigation to be a sluggish exercise with very little to offer readers. Gadgets played with gadgets, Lyons rode around in a cab and Politician seemed like an unnecessary character here.

Needless to say, I hated this book. I counted the pages down just hoping it would end or the book would spontaneously combust. It isn't Hall of Shame material, but it is safe to say 'Able Team' was unable to fulfill my reading pleasure. Perhaps another author will produce a different result. I'm in no hurry to find out.

Buy a copy of this book HERE

Monday, February 24, 2020

Paperback Warrior Podcast - Episode 32

This week we are doing a deep-dive into the life and work of Richard Deming, including a review of his novel, “She’ll Hate Me Tomorrow.”  The first installment of the “Able Team” series is also reviewed, and Eric discusses his brush with fame when he finally spoke to Men’s Adventure cover model Jason Savas about his remarkable career in the publishing industry. Stream the episode below or your favorite podcast app. Download the episode directly HERE.
  Listen to "Episode 32: Richard Deming" on Spreaker.