The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon Green (Secret Histories #1)

Posted September 27, 2011 by Kate in Liked It, Review / 0 Comments

So as discussed in previous posts I am all about exploring this genre and trying new things. I’ve noticed lately that I read mostly books written by women authors, and it’s not that I don’t like male authors it’s just how things happened to be. So I figured I would try out a book written by a man so here we go.

The concept of the series is that there is a family that protects the world and humanity from basically any and all things that threaten the way of life. It takes place in a world similar to ours, in London, although with the added magical/supernatural elements. The Drood family accomplishes this because each member of the family has their own Golden Torc, which essentially makes them invincible. Eddie is a member of the Drood family, who is a field agent, so basically if there is a supernatural problem, Eddie is one of the agents called in to take care of the problem. However, somehow Eddie is declared to be a rogue, so basically suddenly the entire family is out to kill him, this story is how Eddie finds out not only why he was declared a rogue but the truth of his family altogether.

Eddie meets some very amusing people along the way while trying to find his own way. One such character would be Mr. Stab (aka Jack the Ripper) as well as some other very colorful characters. Eddie ends up finding himself a counterpart in Molly. Molly is someone who has gone up against Eddie in many of his field work missions, and they have always been on opposite sides, so for the two of them to be linking up together is a very interesting dynamic. Molly is a very powerful witch, and I actually find her magic to be more impressive than being a Drood.

Personally I have always found characters who have a huge amount of “super powers” to be boring, I have this issue with superman. I kind of come from the philosophy that if someone is going to have a power it should be limited to 1 or 2, 3 would be pushing it, anything more than that is just too much and becomes uninteresting. The Torc kind of walks that line. Everyone is invulnerable, and in action sequences when your being rammed with cars and shoot up with machine guns by tons of people, doesn’t make the action sequence suspenseful. It almost comes off as boastful or bragging, not impressive or making me sit on the edge of my seat, or anything like that.

Kind of on the same line of thinking there was a lot of the book that was just too overdone. The outlandishness of it all was kind of like the author was trying to hard, or was trying to be funny without actually being funny. In fact in some parts he ends up being cheesy instead of funny.

With all that being said, the last third of the book is significantly better than the first two thirds. Green gives up on the unnecessary details and cheese factor and focused more on the plot. Once the focus is purely on the plot the characters become more real, more relate-able, and ultimately more enjoyable. The relationship between Eddie and his family are shown a real relationships, everyone can relate to having parts of their family they like and ones they don’t, and the same is the case for Eddie; although with Eddie it comes with a major twist.

Overall I would give this book an “okay” rating. It definitely has some room for improvement within the book, I think it lacked focus throughout a lot of it. However, the idea behind the story is solid and enjoyable, and the ending makes you really think and I am even looking forward to reading the follow up book.


Buy The Man with the Golden Torc on Amazon!

UPDATE: I am also going to be doing book reviews for another website starting now, called Literary Mind Blender: and my next review will be cross posted both on here but also on the new site 🙂

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