The Man With the Golden Torc by Simon R. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Five stars stands for awesome, and that's what this book is! I loved it. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it as much as the Nightside series, but boy was I wrong.
This book takes my love of James Bond spy movies and supernatural stories and makes a wonderful hybrid, but it has Simon R. Green's own stamp and spin on it. He incorporated all the humor which will make me laugh out loud, the angsty moments, and some thrilling/scary/downright horrific moments as well.
I loved Eddie! Although I still love John Taylor from the Nightside series, I think I like Eddie more, because I got to see him as a fully developed character who evolved over the course of this book. He started out kind of arrogant, so assured of his place in the world. He got a painful wakeup call, and I experienced the gauntlet of emotions he faced as he realized his family wasn't the court of knights in golden armor that he believed they were. I think Eddie really rolled with the punches, dealt with a lot here, and came out on top, the hard way. He's a good guy. He cares about the world, about people. He truly believes in protecting the innocents and fighting the good fight, even at his own personal cost. Even though he can kill without remorse when necessary, he doesn't kill wantonly, and he's never a bully. Even though he doesn't fall in with the party line and play the good little soldier like his family demands, he's very loyal, and family matters to him. Because he's able to think for himself and he loves his family at the same time, he was the best guy to deal with the rot destroying his family from the inside out.
Mr. Green always surprises me with the concepts he integrates into his stories, and I love that about him. The underlying origin of the family's power really surprised (and horrified) me, but it makes sense at the same time. I like how he built this story on the legend of the druids. I respect how Mr. Green brings in uniquely British folklore, legends, and storytelling in his stories. It's one of the things that keeps me coming back. And his sense of humor doesn't hurt either.
Molly was a good companion for Eddie on his journey. She helps him to see that all is not as it appears. At the same time, he helps her to see that not all organizations that smack of the establishment have to be a bad thing. The world does need an organized force who can deal with the nasty supernatural threats, because that power vacuum will be filled, one way or the other. I loved their back and forth, sometimes trading insults, sometimes compliments. It was very well-done flirting that played excellently into this story. Their romance fits and compliments this story wonderfully.
I loved this trip through England, Simon R. Green style. Although John Taylor takes me on a tour of the Nightside, and I am happy to merely observe that bizarre, creepy, horrific world from the detached view of my book; I am fully Eddie's sidekick on his dangerous journey to find out why he was declared Rogue and to do something about that. It had all the high-octane elements of a Bond action flick, but with fantastic supernatural/arcane elements. I loved the references to legends and lore, and a few Lovecraftian nods thrown in for good measure. Like the Bond movies, this book has the cool gadgets, even cooler because they are supernatural. Eddie's Uncle Jack, called The Armourer, could give MI6's Q a run for his money.
Mr. Green did not let me down with this book. I have found yet another male-lead urban fantasy series that I simply must keep up with and add to my keeper shelf. Although I could probably write Mr. Green a crazy fan letter after reading this novel, I will let this semi-gushing review suffice!
Casting Wish List:
Jamie Bamber as Eddie Drood:
Lucy Brown as Molly Metcalf:
Jim Broadbent as Uncle Jack, The Armourer:
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