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Posted November 12, 2012
Review of Doc Savage: Deaths Dark Domain
I have always been a HUGE Doc Savage fan. When I recently discovered that Will Murray was writing new editions to the literally legendary series of books I began buying them. The new entry is called ‘Death’s Dark Domain’.
DDD takes place in Eastern Europe in a disputed borderland between two countries. The story is filled with enough menace and supposed monsters to fill an old Universal movie. There’s lots of mystery here, as well as a few surprising moments. I don’t like giving too much away in reviews, but I will say we get to see Doc’s prodigious strength on display a few times as well as his amazing agility and his incredible intelligence. Will has Doc and his friend’s personalities down pat, and from the get go you feel like you’re reading a real Doc Savage story, and not fan fic or something akin to it.
That is not to say the story does not have its problems. To me, Doc Savage should never be surprised by anything, no matter what it is, yet he was surprised by at least three occurrences in this book. That detracted a little from the story for me. Plus there was an anti-gun message within that just struck me as very wrong. I don’t see Doc Savage as ever believing that someone would get his own gun away from him and use it against him. Sorry that’s too much of a stretch.
Beyond those issues though, this was a HIGHLY entertaining book. I read though it very quickly, basically finishing it in about a day. I sat for long hours reading it and enjoying just about every part of it. It was a good, classic style Doc story, as long as you are okay overlooking a few faults.
There was one other issue I had with it and that was the lack of action. At the end we got to see some action scenes, but much of the book was the Doc Crew flying here, or flying there, watching a giant bat fly here or there. To me, a character like Doc has to have a physical antagonist. He has to have someone who can push him to the physical limit. Whether it is a man or a polar bear. Having Doc apply Chiropractic nerve pinches is interesting once, but not three to four times throughout the book. Doc Savage needs to hit someone, every book. He needs to fight someone bigger then him who is supposedly stronger then him, but turns out not to be to his own surprise, or it has to be an inhuman foe who is more powerful, but Doc defeats anyway through the fruits of his rigorous (Mental and physical) training.
All in all it is a very good read. I give it four out of five stars. Even with the minor faults I saw Will Murray does an excellent job with Doc Savage and I can’t wait to read his next one.
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