Sunday, August 3, 2008

Warrior monks make too good a target

There are two novels called The Apocalypse Door, as I found out when I accidentally bought the wrong one. I saw a recommendation for the one by James D. McDonald, but bought the one by William Todd. Todd's novel is a piece of crap. The world does not need more self-published Lovecraft imitators. McDonald's Apocalypse Door is not great, but interesting. It's the kind of good, concept-driven novel that is a bit more fun to describe than to read: Catholic demon-fighting told as hardboiled crime. It's all there - an intricate multi-twisted plot, underground dealings with dangerous powers, a Maltese McGuffin, and most importantly that hardboiled style, but instead of Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade you have two Knight Templars and an assassin nun saving the world from an unholy race of mushroom people. Sounds fun? It is, ("the hairs were standing up on the back of my neck, and I'd been working on the rough side of the scholastic method long enough that I couldn't ignore that kind of feeling"), but it's more clever than good. I feel like politely applauding the worksmanship, and that's not what I'm looking for in a book.



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