Book Cover
Title The Man with the Golden Torc
Author Simon R. Green
Cover Art Unknown
Publisher Roc - 2008
First Printing Roc - 2007
Book Cover
Title Daemons are Forever
Author Simon R. Green
Cover Art ---
Publisher ---
First Printing ---
Book Cover
Title The Spy Who Haunted Me
Author Simon R. Green
Cover Art ---
Publisher ---
First Printing ---
Category Urban Fantasy
Warnings None
Main Characters Eddie Drood (a.k.a. Shaman Bond), Molly Metcalf
Main Elements Wizards, witches
Website ---




Click to read the summaryThe Man with the Golden Torc




A coworker lent me this book. I thought, why not. James Bond in a fantasy setting, sounded like it had potential.

Except I found the Bond part kind of lacking...I guess I expected more of a parody of a James Bond movie than simply a character that found it funny to call himself Shaman Bond. Don't get me wrong, there are chase scenes. There are the evil organizations with silly names. And the best was the Armourer's laboratory. Now that was a scene out of a Bond movie, the whole thing with the lab assistants blowing themselves up in the background while Q shows Bond some fancy new device. I can't even put my finger on what wasn't Bond-like...it just, wasn't.

This is our world, only there is more to it than we realize. And the Drood family (believed to have decended from the ancient druids) are there to protect us from it. Eddie Drood, the main character, is a field agent who uses his golden torc (a circlet of metal around one's neck, received at birth) to summon up a golden armour, that protects him from harm and allows him to move about undetected. Neat, eh?

After he finishes his last mission he finds himself being declared rogue. But he doesn't know why. He just has to run from his family, arguably the most powerful force on the planet. His only refuge, those he had, on several occasions, attempted to kill before. Let's just say most will be more interested in the good brownie points they'll get from turning over a rogue to his family than helping him out. But some are willing to do anything to get revenge on the Droods, and if Eddie can help them, they'll help him.

In the process, he gets to look at the world from the other side, and realizes that the bad guys aren't all bad...well most of them anyway. And the good guys? They might not be exactly what he'd been brought up to believe.

As I read it, I kept getting Harry Dresden (from The Dresden Files) flashbacks. There are a lot of similarities. There are chases scenes. The main character getting completely mangled but still fighting on. Learning that everything he believed he was fighthing for might have been a lie. Declared "rogue" by his "family". The main difference being that Eddie could use technology while Dresden tends to make electronics fizzle. And Eddie's care is sexier.

In the end Dresden won out for me. The Shaman Bond books were good, just not as good. And I'm sorry, that scene on at the beginning? When Eddie's out on the highway and his family is out to get him? And they send "CARnivores" after him? Yes, demonic carnivorous cars. *eyeroll* And then the Flying Saucerers...no, not aliens, but sorcerers in saucers...yeah. *eyeroll* That was a Piers Anthony moment there. At least the worst was saved for that scene, the puns settle down after that.

The one thing I was a little disappointed in was that I was able to figure out the next twist about a chapter before the main characters did. Granted I didn't guess every detail right, and I couldn't guess beyond the next turn in the plot, but I generally got the gist right.

There are some kooky characters, like the Blue Fairy, Mr. Stab, Archied Leech, Janissary Jane and of course Molly Metcalf. The Hall (the Drood's ancestral home) sounded like a pretty neat place to grow up in. Where you can ride the flying unicorns, and the secret passageways are actually in alternate dimensions to save space. But beware the gryphons, not because they are dangerous, though they are that too, but because they like to roll in carrion and they have a funny smell.

You won't be lacking in things you'd never even dreamed of, to be sure. You just have to suspend your disbelief a little...but then, that's what makes a Bond movie, a Bond movie, no?




Posted: January 2009

HOME BACK EMAIL

Background, images and content (unless otherwise noted) are SunBlind
Do not use without permission.