Thursday, March 03, 2005

Lest it appear that I don't do anything besides watch TV, I just finished a book the other day: The Nimble Man by Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski, both authors whose work I've enjoyed in the past. This is the first in a new "dark fantasy" series, featuring Arthur Conan Doyle as the immortal magician leading a team of ghosts, vampires, and other mystical beings in a bid to defend the Earth against... well, other mystical, creepy stuff. All very Buffy, really, which makes sense, because Golden is perhaps best known as the author of about a million Buffy novels. (He also cowrote the Ghosts of Albion webcast series with Buffy actress Amber Benson, also soon to be a series of novels.)

Anyway, as I said, this first novel featured a story that felt straight out of Buffy or Angel, with some big, horrible Power From Beyond Time menacing the planet. And the novel fell a bit flat for me, partly because the plot did feel so familiar, and partly because this is the first time we've seen these characters, and they're up against what is reportedly such a huge threat. Time and time again, Doyle tells his people (and the readers) that this problem is far greater than anything they've ever faced before. Trouble is, we haven't seen how they've handled anything else before, and when (surprise) they win here, it doesn't seem all that hard, either. Very much ado about nothing, really. (And then, the book sets up future stories when we're told that there's something even worse coming down the pike, but again, if the fairly generic Ultimate Evil Monster they face in this book was supposed to be such a challenge, then how bad are we supposed to believe the next one to be?)

The next book comes out sometime this spring, I think, but it's not a high priority. (A higher priority is the first full Ghosts of Albion novel in the fall, because the web series has been a lot more fun.)

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