I rarely review science fiction, and it’s not because I don’t admire the genre, it’s mainly due to the fact that sci-fi requires a certain mindset from the reader, and I don’t always have the patience (for lack of a better word) to deal with fantastical settings, other worlds, etc. So, when I was asked* to review Fid’s Crusade: Book One of the Chronicles of Fid, I was hesitant, yet at the time, the book’s synopsis appealed to me:
“Rage, grief and guilt have fueled Doctor Fid’s endless quest to punish the unworthy and he has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. For more than two decades, the sight of the villain’s powered armor has struck fear into the hearts of hero and civilian alike! But when a personal tragedy motivates Doctor Fid to investigate a crime, he uncovers a plot so heinous that even he is taken aback.”
So, on one level, we have sci-fi with superheroes vs. villains, but we also have a criminal investigation headed by this infamous Doctor Fid, to find the killer behind a man named Starnyx, who was his only real friend, albeit for a very short period of time.
I’ll say at the outset that I was very impressed by Fid’s Crusade, particularly with the writing. This book is more literature than science fiction, more philosophical than action-filled. Narrated by Doctor Fid himself, the story is about a man, Terrance Markham, who becomes the villain Doctor Fid after witnessing the inaction of a hero to save Bobby, Terrance’s younger brother from dying. In becoming Doctor Fid, he seeks to reveal heroes for what they really are.
“Even then, I recognized that so-called superheroes performed a public service that is both difficult and dangerous; they were marketed, however as something far greater. They accepted the accolades, pretended to be righteous warriors and icons of justice and all that is good, and yet still quietly accepted a system that protected the undeserving. A thin spandex line that stood in opposition to villains like the very-deceased Locust or the monster who had been Fid but also shielded their peers from accountability.
They accepted worship from children.”
Terrance Markham is the wealthy CEO of AH Biotech and his other identity is known to no one. That is until he meets up with a child-like android named Whisper, the creation of Apotheosis, a supervillain who has disappeared and is presumed dead. Terrance wants to legally adopt her, but the judicial system is still unsure if androids can be considered sentient beings. In the meantime, Whisper lives with Terrance and knows he is Doctor Fid. Whisper becomes like a little sister to Terrance, filling the hole in his life that Bobby left when he died. They develop a working and living relationship that serves to “soften” Doctor Fid and sets him to use his vast knowledge and amazing inventions to do good for society. However, his label as a villain is almost insurmountable, and certain heroes have a difficult time believing that Fid now wants to turn to do good by finding the killer(s) of heroes Starnyx and Beazd. There is a subplot of a pending alien takeover of Earth by a group called Legion that use telepathy to control others. A spaceship of intergalactic refugees escaping the Legion has crash-landed on Earth and Doctor Fid discovers that Legion agents have infiltrated Earth and might be influencing some of the heroes.
The climax of the novel is a confrontation of the heroes with Legion subjects (and their mind-controlled cloned minions) in New York City. Can Doctor Fid (and Whisper) save Earth? “Doctor Fid might be a supervillain, but perhaps he could save the world right out from under the fraudulent superheroes’ noses,” he tells the reader.
I truly enjoyed reading Fid’s Crusade. Mr. Reiss writes in a very mature, literate manner that is refreshing, and surprising too for a novel about the “cape and cowl” set. There is no foul language, no sexual content, and really little actual violence. I would consider this as “safe” reading for mature teens and those of us who are young at heart. There are more installments in the Chronicles of Fid, and I am eager to see how Mr. Reiss develops the intriguing character of Doctor Fid.
Fid’s Crusade (Book One in the Chronicles of Fid) by David H. Reiss
*This post is the final stop in the week-long book blog tour of Fid’s Crusade. Here’s the full itinerary, which also includes YouTube reviews and a book giveaway:
Giveaway link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a11/?
Fid’s Crusade Book Tour Schedule
Sunday July 14th
Shaye from A Reading Brit (blog) https://areadingbrit.co.uk/
Amanda from Amanda readsss (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHl3RdpnJmuMP7ZZYdc-rA
Monday July 15th
Ross from Storgy (blog) https://storgy.com/
Hilary from Melted Books (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOatzzc3q5iTsRZkDPUEZig
Tuesday July 16th
Arden from the Phantom Paper (blog) https://phantompaper.wordpress.com/
Arts, Books and Other things (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrXMPBy0z1CiJZCkBOFzjQ
Wednesday July 17th
Jenny from Tecsielity (blog) https://tecsielity.wordpress.com/
Savy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9WShNx2HsXRGjj9F593HzA
Thursday July 18th
Sarah from Murder by Tomes (blog) https://murderbytomes.wordpress.com/
Kathy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiN4woTQzWrciAcjIKQCzHA
Friday July 19th
Yes More Blogs (blog) https://yesmoreblogs.wordpress.com/
Toya – Reading Chemist (blog) https://thereadingchemist.com/
Scott from Book Invasion (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCADGZU0eRD4SpeFyxtPBrzg
Saturday July 20th
James from the Miramichi Reader (blog) https://miramichireader.ca/
Cheyenne from Novel Insights (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNzc9HZ0T0YQAUksJ7XtWOA
James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.