Allston, Aaron: Doc Sidhe

Sometimes a book just happens to be wrong for a reader, through no fault of its own. Aaron Allston’s Doc Sidhe is one of those books.

I got this book on the strength of a review on rec.arts.sf.written. (I probably never would have picked it up otherwise, as the cover is terrible and the back copy isn’t so good, either.) It’s a fantasy homage to 1930’s pulp adventures, with elves and snappy clothes and big cars with running boards and something like tommy guns, and with the title character as the wise leader of a band of variously skilled people who are On the Side of Right. Harris Greene gets pulled from our world into the elven one, and falls in with Doc and his band.

Unfortunately, I kept mentally banging straight into another book when reading this, John M. Ford’s very excellent The Last Hot Time (which I will write a review of one of these days, honest). In that fantasy novel, a young man gets pulled into the household and employ of a wise leader in a place where there are elves and gangs and cool big cars and snappy clothes. Except that in The Last Hot Time, the young man’s referred to as Doc. And so, half the time we got a point of view from Doc Sidhe, usually just identified in the text as “Doc,” I’d get all confused and think he was the young outsider, not the wise leader.

This was not the best way to read a book. Especially since they’re not at all similar, otherwise.

This may indeed be a perfectly good book, but I was too distracted to really get involved. I may try it again. But first I’ll get this review of The Last Hot Time out of my system . . .

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