Having discovered Doc Savage and the Fabulous Five about 8 years ago, I've been playing catch up ever since. So it was with a great deal of excitement and anticipation that I greeted the release of the first new Doc Savage novel in 18 years. Finally I'd be able to buy a new Doc adventure when it came out!
And I was not disappointed.
If you're a long-time Doc Savage fan, this novel will scratch you right where you itch. Everyone is here, including Pat Savage and the ever-annoying Chemistry and Habeous. If you're looking for a different kind of Doc adventure or a new take on the legendary hero, then you will be sorely disappointed.
That's right Doc fans young, old, novice or veteran... DOC SAVAGE IS BACK! The Doc you remember -- whether it be via those timeless pulp magazines of the 30s/40s, the unforgettable run of Bantam paperbacks from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s or whether you just started picking up the double novel re-issues courtesy of Sanctum Books. Yup, THAT Doc is back in a new adventure from Kenneth Robeson extraordinaire Will Murray.
Based on an original outline by the incomparable Lester Dent, and incorporating a considerable amount of vintage, unused Dent material, The Desert Demons is a worthy and fitting continuation of the Doc Savage legacy. Channeling Dent, Murray has given us an incredible Doc Savage adventure that slips seamlessly into the established canon. No updating, no re-imagining here. This is a classic Doc yarn that will delight fans everywhere.
The plot is classic pulp and classic Doc. Out in Hollywoodland, a mysterious red cloud is swooping down out of the sky, devouring people and machinery alike, causing no end of headaches for film crews and the general population. And Pat Savage has disappeared into this mess. What follows is a rollicking adventure mixing science fact with science fiction while bullets whiz, grenades explode, schemes run rampant and gadgets save the day. All the classic pulp fiction elements are here: breakneck pacing, snappy dialogue and a relentless pace that keeps you turning the pages.
If you're a long time fan I guarantee you this novel will be the read you've been waiting for since the travesty of First Wave. If you've never read a Doc adventure in your life, then why not start here? If you are an adventure junkie, then The Desert Demons is the book for you.
The book is available in multiple formats. There's the softcover for sale here. But there is also a deluxe hardcover edition available through the publisher's website. I opted for the latter and can say that when they say deluxe they aren't kidding around. In the hardback edition, you get a fantastic Afterword in which Murray takes you behind the scenes of the book's creation. Find out precisely where Dent leaves off and Murray takes over in the story. In fact, reproductions of Dent's original typescript pages are included. And it comes with a signed bookplate, including the signatures of Murray, cover artist Joe Devito and a faux signature from Lester Dent himself. Devito also chimes in with an essay about how he came to be associated with the Doc Savage Bantam released in the 90s. If you're a fan of this stuff, then the hardcover may be for you. If not, there is the softcover and an e-book is pending.
Pulp fiction, both classic and new, is all the rage these days and reading The Desert Demons will show you why so many readers embrace this classic adventure prose. The Desert Demons is a stand out addition to the New Pulp movement and, as it is the first of a new series of Doc novels, pulp fans new and old have a ton of fun ahead of them.