Tuesday, September 9, 2014

King Khan

King KhanKing Khan by Harry Connolly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When a mysterious arrow bearing a message in his handwriting instructs Professor Khan to go to Hollywood, he finds that a friend of his has committed suicide and his newest invention is missing...

King Khan is the fourth book in the Spirit of the Century series by Evil Hat. It's also my least favorite book in the series. I'll cover that bit later.

Professor Khan, with rich fop Bertie Blinkersly in tow, leaves London behind for Hollywood to solve the mysteries surrounding a friend's death and winds up in a battle for his last invention, the Improbability Bow. Helping him and Bertie Wooster, I mean Bertie Blinkersly, are the inventor's daughter Sylvia, a diminutive cop named Cross, and a luchador named the Blue Hornet. Sound good?

Meh. It was okay and had some good moments but it was nothing spectacular. It may have been that the previous books in the series were just too much fun and raised the bar too high. After the two Dinocalypse books and Khan of Mars, the Hollywood setting and the threat just didn't do it for me. Hell, you'd have to do a lot to top psychic dinosaurs and Martian apes.

Don't get me wrong. King Khan isn't a bad book. There are a lot of twists and lots of pulp action. There are also hopping zombies and a fair amount of humor, much of it due to the Bertie Wooster-inspired Bertie Blinkersly. It just had some might big shoes to fill after it's predecessors.

The Blue Hornet greatly added to my enjoyment of the book. It reminded me of the crappy movies they used to make starring El Santo, Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon, and other luchadors fighting werewolves and things.

The Blue Hornet and the possessed Shirley Temple were enough to add a half star. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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