January 20, 2009

The Man with the Golden Torc

Another series from Simon R. Green and like Nightside, the story borders on silly. But that's the point. If you can't enjoy a bit of good-natured fun, then this isn't for you. This novel should be read as a comedy, not as a serious fantasy or spy book. And just as Nightside is a big wink at detective novels, this one takes a look at spy novels. There are obvious references to James Bond and lots(!) of pokes at the genre. For the movie, I would take it another step further and cast some actors from the 007 franchise into the Drood family.

"Green pulls out all the parodic stops to introduce supernatural field agent Shaman Bond, aka Eddie Drood, black sheep of an ancient, superpowerful family that protects humanity from its nightmares. And a good secret agent he is, partly because he has the best toys, from the golden torc that becomes impenetrable armor to a souped-up classic car. Called home for the first time in years, he comes to suspect there's a traitor within the family and discovers he has been declared a rogue. Fortunately, he has bolt-holes his family never suspected and tricks to stay alive while he investigates. He goes to former enemies, who know him as Bond, for help and discovers possible common ground with a few. For there's a bigger enemy to deal with, amid the truth behind the Droods' power, the family traitor, and the nasty things the Droods' major opponents do. Green sustains a good spy thriller's breakneck action with lots of magic, strange creatures, and even some character growth and romance. His new series star is one fun character." - Booklist

Dramatis Personae

Tahmoh Penikett as Edwin Drood- An agent of the Drood family, a super-secret family that watches over humanity and protects from all things magical, inter-dimensional, alien, or anything else that pops up. Eddie, unlike most of his family, prefers privacy and independence, so he doesn't live with the rest of his family, much to their consternation.

Nora Zehetner as Molly Metcalfe- The Wild Witch of the Woods and one of Eddie's greatest rivals. They've fought each other to a standstill too many times to count, but both agree that it was nothing personal; it just goes with the job. They somehow find themselves paired together while Eddie looks for whoever framed him and caused his expulsion from the family.

Gary Oldman as Mr. Stab- "The notorious uncaught serial killer of old London Town. He'd operated under many names, down the long years, and I don't think even he knew the number of people he'd murdered since he started out with 5 unfortunate whores in the East End in 1888. He still dressed in the formal dark clothes of his times, right down to the opera cloak and top hat. "

Tania Raymonde as Subway Sue- "A luck thief, she drifted unseen among the passengers using the Underground trains, quietly leeching off a little luck off everyone she brushed against. Which is why so many people miss their trains or end up on the wrong platform. To look at her, you'd think she was only one step up from homeless, buried under layers of charity clothes, but that was just so no one would notice her. There was always someone willing to pay her good money for the stolen luck she hoarded. "

Amanda Seyfried as Girl Flower- "an ancient Welsh elemental, she is made up of rose petals and owl's claws. Treat her right and she'd be soft as rose petals to you. Mistreat or wrong her, and the owl's claws would come out. She dressed in bright pastel colors, in gypsy styles, and wore some many bracelets, they clattered deafeningly every time she gestured. "

Helena Bonham Carter as Janissary Jane- mercenary and veteran demon fighter; "she wore her black hair cropped short so no one could grab it during a fight, and if her scarred face had ever been pretty, that was a long time ago. "

Mark Boone Junior as Blue Fairy- A half-breed; his mother was human and his father was elven, and he is rejected by both sides of his family. He was once "quite a dandy in his day, but he hadn't aged well. " He was fat, most prominently in the jowls and cheeks.

Jim Broadbent as The Armorer- Eddie's Uncle Jack, he is in charge of R&D within the Drood Family. He is the person to see if you need a weapon or any other bit of technology. He is obviously a nod to the 'Q' character in the James Bond movies. His lab is full of assistants that are always present in the background, testing gadgets and whatnots (and usually they fail hilariously).

Pierce Brosnan as James Drood- Another of Edwin's uncles, James took Edwin under his wing after the death of his parents. This left James as the father figure in Edwin's life. His nickname is The Gray Fox and he is considered the ultimate agent of the family. His character is representative of James Bond himself.

Billy Connelly as Jacob Drood- The ghost of a long-deceased ancestor that haunts one of the outlying buildings on the Drood grounds. He is a trouble-maker too and is a kindred spirit for Edwin (pun probably intended in this book!) There is something he needs to do before he can move into the afterlife, but he can't remember what that is.

Maggie Smith as Martha Drood- The Matriarch and head of the Drood family. She controls the family with an Iron Fist and is responsible for sending agents where they're needed. She doesn't agree with Edwin's choice to live away from the family and believes in doing so, he's putting himself before the family, which is a cardinal sin to the Droods. She is an obvious nod to 'M' in the Bond movies.

Chance Kelly as Sargeant-at-Arms- The butler and first line of defense of the Drood estate. He is a no-nonsense, militaristic man with a penchant for big guns. He is always in a bad mood and also disagrees with Edwin's lifestyle. He was a personal torment to Eddie when he was growing up on the estate, as the Sargeant cracked down hard on Eddie when he tried to goof off.
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readerMom said...

This book had been a guilty pleasure of mine. Thanks for reading it. I like the cast, though I'm not sure about Mickey Rourke. Don't know who else I'd put there though. Great blog.

Garett said...

HA! That's exactly how I feel about it, a guilty pleasure. I almost feel ashamed to admit I read Green's books, but they're just so much fun! You're absolutely right about Rourke. I'm not happy with that pick at all. When I originally cast this one, I was pressed for time and Rourke has been getting alot of press lately for The Wrestler. I thought, why not? But the more I think about it, the more I konw he isn't right. I'll change him when I get the chance. I do have an idea for a replacement. Do you watch Fringe? There is a rogue agent on there, I don't know his name, but I think he may look the part; tall, square jaw, militaristic, and about the right age. I'll post him later and let me know what you think!

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