Review: The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon Green (Gollancz)

Title: The Man with the Golden Torc
Author: Simon Green
Publisher: Gollancz
Published: Paperback 14 August 2008

Own Copy

There’s no way getting around it. You’re going to see this as James Bond with Daemons, which is probably the point, especially if the cover and the pun-riddled title are anything to go by. That isn’t to say that is a pale pastiche. Green has created a hero and an adventure in its own right.

Bond, Shaman Bond is in fact Eddie Drood a protector, along with the rest of the Drood family, of humanity from the forces of darkness and through him Green shows an alternative world where all the things that you thought were just myth and mystery are in fact real.

Green does takes this idea slightly too far in places but overall he gets the tone and mix and reality about right. So that the creatures he introduces fit quite well. Ironically it was the aliens that didn’t quite fit in as they seemed, well alien, and out of place.

What at first annoyed me about Eddie Drood turned out to be his greatest weakness – his golden armour. It makes him, super-strong, invincible and arrogant. That is until he’s shown that he isn’t as invincible as he’s always thought. It’s also a lesson he teaches a few others along the way.

Green keeps the pressure on Eddie and the reader and doesn’t stop for breath as the action takes us from a Harvey Street Hospital, to a devastating chase along the M4 and the hidden areas of London amongst many other places. It isn’t just the solving of a mystery. It’s the journey of Eddie as he learns more about himself and gets closer to someone he’s tried to kill on more than one occasion.

Green keeps up the laughs so it’s closer to Austin Powers than 007. The ideas flow from an imagination that seems far from running dry.  I’m looking forward to where Green takes Eddie Drood after he’s built up and destroyed so much in The Man with the Golden Torc.

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