Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon Green (4/5 stars)

This is the first book of Simon Green's Secret Histories series. It is meant to be a kind of tongue in cheek fantasy version of the Bond stories. It does a pretty good job of pulling that off. Although I think, especially in the beginning, some of the story suffers as Simon Green tries to force this style onto his readers.

Edwin Drood is a field agent for the Drood family. With his golden torc that turns into a suit of armor he is well-neigh indestructible. As Eddie sees it he is protecting all of humanity from the evils they don't know about. But when Eddie is declared rogue by the Drood family, he will stop at nothing to find out why he's been declared rogue. Along the way he finds out some very nasty secrets about the family he's revered and served for so long.

This book is longer and more involved than Simon Green's Nightside series. It is fun, well-written, and has a cast of interesting characters in it. I actually listened to it on audio book and the audio book was very good. All in all it was a great pleasure to listen to.

There were only a few things that kept it from being excellent. In the beginning Eddie tends to repeat himself a lot...you know saying the same thing in a number of different ways; I think this is supposed to be part of the Bond style but to me it was just irritating. The second thing is that the characters tend to stop in the middle of chase scenes and have long drawn out conversations (maybe also a Bond thing). You couldn't help but wonder what the bad guys were doing while Eddie and whomever sat there and discussed the universe as we know it. This really made me roll my eyes in frustration a few times.

The two complaints above aside; this was a fun read and I will most likely read the next book in the series.

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