Thank you NetGalley and Roc for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The name is Drood, Eddie Drood, also known as Shaman Bond. My family has been safeguarding humanity for generations, facing the hidden horrors of the world so you can sleep at night and remain oblivious to the existence of the monstrous nightmares that walk and stalk among us.
Speaking of predatory night terrors, there is a man who gets away with murder. A man who specializes in removing the problems from other people’s lives, by killing the people who cause those problems. He operates from the darkest shadows of the hidden world, coming and going unseen. No-one knows who he is, just his nomme du muerte. Dr. DOA.
Somehow, this demented doc poisoned me. I don’t know how he did it, when or where, but whatever is coursing through my veins seems to be immune to magic cures and treatments. But that’s not going to stop me from finding him and whoever hired him and give them both a taste of their own medicine…
First let me say that this series absolutely has to be read in order. There’s just too much that happens in each book for you to jump in midway. There are also links to Green’s other popular Nightside series, but you needn’t have read any of those books in order to enjoy these. So, if you have surmised that The Secret Histories is a tongue-in-cheek play on the James Bond series by Ian Fleming than you would be correct. The titles are all nods to the originals, and they even have characters based on “Q” and “M”. Except for those similarities though, the books are completely different. They’re an eclectic mix of urban fantasy, fantasy, steampunk, horror and science fiction. Eddie himself is nothing like Bond. He’s definitely not a flirt, holds onto a lot of guilt, and in the last few books has been completely devoted to Molly Metcalf, a powerful witch and former arch-nemesis. In this book they continue to play off each other really well, and their bantering provides for some of the most enjoyable parts of the story. There’s also much more in the way of emotional development with Eddie facing the prospect of his own mortality and Molly’s determination to save him. I find it amazing that even after ten books, Simon Green continues to pack in plenty of new revelations and surprises particularly about the mafia-like Drood Family. His world-building is so well written that you can’t help but feel as though you’re right there with the characters whether they’re in London or some bizarre alternate universe. There’s a few problems with Dr. DOA though that keep it from being a perfect read. First of all, there’s a couple of unnecessary subplots that detract from, rather than add to the main plot. While there’s plenty of action to keep the pace moving quickly, I felt these slowed the narrative down a bit. There’s also a fair amount of repetition particularly in regards to the admittedly awesome Drood armor. After ten books now I don’t think readers need to be reminded in every fight scene that basically nothing can get through this stuff. And finally, after nine previous books where Green always wrapped up each story while at the same time making it clear that there would be a next, now, NOW he decides to end on a cliffhanger? Argh! Since the eleventh book won’t be out until next year, this has left me considerably cranky. Overall though, I did really enjoy Dr. DOA. If you’ve read the previous books in the series, you don’t want to miss this. And if you haven’t read The Secret Histories I highly recommend them, especially if you’re a fan of urban fantasy and authors like Jim Butcher.