Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Review--The Terror of Fu Manchu


Fu Manchu's latest plot, written by William P. Maynard, involves saving the human race from...wait? What? Since when did the Devil Doctor care about the human race?

The novel is set during a break in the narrative of The Hand of Fu Manchu. This is during the period where Fu Manchu was, arguably, at his most blood thirsty. The novel has plenty of action, adventure and daring-do. (The excellent scene with Petrie attempting to save children from a crocodile comes to mind.) The plot is mostly concerned with Nayland Smith and his trusty aid Dr. Petrie tracking down members of a cult that may or may not be related to the Si-Fan.

The problems I had were few, Maynard is not only a talented writer, but he clearly knows his Rohmer. The only thing that bothered me on first read through was the Lovecraftian elements, as I felt that the magic/demon stuff clashed with the Fu Manchu series' focus on logic above all else. But, after a discussion of it with Maynard himself I feel that those elements fit perfectly with Rohmer's fictional universe.

Final Tally:
Prose: A++ (A perfect recreation of Rohmer's style, perhaps the most perfect pastiche I've ever read)
Characterization: A-
Plot: A

Wold Newton relevancy rating: 9. (It features Fu Manchu, a proven WN family member, several crossovers with other Rohmer characters, and the use of the theory on the identity of Dr. Petrie's father.)


1 comment:

  1. Just as an update, I recently signed a contract with The Sax Rohmer Literary Estate to write a sequel to THE TERROR OF FU MANCHU. The next book, THE DESTINY OF FU MANCHU is set in 1938 between Rohmer's novels, THE DRUMS OF FU MANCHU and THE ISLAND OF FU MANCHU.