cover image Zorro and the Little Devil

Zorro and the Little Devil

Peter David. Bold Venture, $19.95 trade paper (204p) ISBN 978-1-719374-10-1

David, best known for his Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, is only partially successful in this authorized continuation of the saga of Zorro, the early 19th-century, Batman-like masked vigilante fighting for justice for Californians oppressed by Spanish rule. Zorro is actually Don Diego de la Vega, a nobleman who poses as a “dandy and a poet,” a secret known only to a few, including his widowed father, Don Alejandro. When Zorro apprehends a thief named Miguel who’s been targeting churches in the town of Capistrano, Miguel reveals that its residents are facing a more serious threat—from his former boss, Cuban pirate Diabolito, whose depredations led President James Monroe to form an anti-piracy squadron. Diabolito’s intricate scheme, which involves multiple deceptions, predictably places both Zorro and Don Alejandro’s lives in peril, before a predictable resolution. Though David has captured the pulp spirit of Johnston McCulley’s originals, the emphasis on action scenes at the expense of characterization makes this a novel with rather limited aspirations. [em](July) [/em]