Review of SHADOWS OF NEW YORK by Teel James Glenn (see his website)
DR. SHADOWS #1
BooksForABuck.com, March 2011
In the 1930s, the world stands at the brink of war, Japan is intent on its conquest of China, and criminal masterminds are using the confusion to carve out their own empires. Into this world strides Dr. Shadows.
When his plane was shot down over Korea by the Japanese, Dr. Shadows was nearly killed, being rescued by Korean monks who nursed him back to health with an herbal treatment that turned his skin an ashen gray, but that also gives him a speed and agility unmatched by others. After years of healing and martial arts training, Dr. Shadows is back in New York where he's established the Shadows Foundation for Justice. Through this organization (and with the help of sidekicks Slugger Harris and monk and martial artist Dr. Hoon and perky Lee Han Ku (Hank)) he'll attempt to right wrongs, solve crimes, and defeat crimelords whose greed is spurring the world toward war.
Author Teel James Glenn (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Glenn) creates a pulp-fiction hero who would have been at home with the pulp action characters of the 1930s--Doc Savage, Batman, the Shadow, and Secret Agent X, and who would have battled arch-fiends like Fu Manchu. Glenn's New York is not the glamorous stage for theater and the super-rich, but bars, Chinatown, and secret societies.
Fans of pulp fiction will chuckle over Glenn's name-dropping of mostly-forgotten characters, and his careful reconstruction of an era that is now in the past and perhaps never fully existed. As for his characters, Glenn gives Dr. Shadows just a bit of angst, and gives us a full range of villains, from classic arch-fiends to surprisingly complex and honorable enemies.
Reviewed 3/02/11. Approximately 79,000 words
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