This book takes my love of James Bond spy movies and supernatural stories and makes a wonderful hybrid, but it has Simon R. 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. 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. 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. Like the Bond movies, this book has the cool gadgets, even cooler because they are supernatural. Mr. Green did not let me down with this book.
This is the kind of book for which you need to turn off your brain and just enjoy the ride. The whole book is basically one long chase scene but Eddie leads readers through such a motley and interesting London Underground that it just adds to the fun flavor. Eddie himself makes for a likable and charismatic lead character.
The Man With the Golden Torc is typical Simon Green. The action is almost at a ridiculous level, reminscent of the Bond movies, making for a very exciting read. The Drood family reminds me of the family from Roger Zelazny's Amber books and Eddie himself reminds me a little of Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius, only without the ambiguous sexuality. But the thing that really irked me was Edwin Drood's cover identity of Shaman Bond.
A good plot and decent setting backed by disinterresting and seemingly disinterrested characters and a strangely disjointed and chaotic storytelling. I came to this book knowing that it is a part of long list of books set in the same world, and I've been longing for some good urban fantasy which i can really sink my teeth into. There is very little explanation given for why the characters act as they do throughout the book. I probably could have overcome my dislike for the the characters in the story, the plot itself was rather good after all.
It didnt take long for me to realize I just wasnt feeling the book. Normally a wide variety of magical powers and creatures is good in a book, right? There were also some issues with the main character and some items/powers that felt really overpowered, which meant that I didnt feel any kind of tension during the action scenes.
I was hoping for something to take the place of Mr. Greens Nightside series, but this just didn't do it for me. Green with his Nightside series a few years back. Like Nightside this is another Urban Fantasy series. The book titles of this series are all parodies of Bond titles. I'm not sure if the book just isn't as good, or if my tastes have changed as I've become a more voracious reader the past few years. I recall Mr. Green writing scenes in Nightside that seemed unimportant to the plot but that explore some bizarre idea he must have had.
I was torn here as there are 4 star books I've liked better but I believe it rates more than 3. The book is good, it's recognizably Green I believe if you've read any Nightside. Eddie is a "good son" by his own lights at least, serving the Drood family who he's been taught from infancy onward are the bastion of humanity against the forces of evil and darkness. I found it got a bit repetitive in a couple of places and some of it was somewhat predictable but on the whole that doesn't take away from the book. Also were we really surprised that the Drood family weren't really "on the whole" the "good-guys"?
It's a page-turner of a book, incorporating action, suspense, mystery, and even some romance, along with a large dose of humor...The Man with the Golden Torc has it all.
It's like the Nightside books, except that nearly half of the weird stuff presented actually had a purpose!
It felt a bit more like a combo of the action in his Deathstalker space opera with the horror/dark fantasy of the Nightside books.
Simon Richard Green is a British science fiction and fantasy-author.