Sidhe Devil

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 21, 2001

Sidhe Devil by Aaron Allston

Twelve people attended this meeting, and two submitted comments by email. One of the email participants was a person in Tennessee who has never attended one of our meetings in person, but who was a personal friend of one of our group’s regulars. Sidhe Devil is an action-packed fantasy novel that takes place mostly in a fairy world that greatly resembles Earth in the early 20th century. The heroic Doc Sidhe and his band of competent assistants travel to an international sports competition to foil a fiendish supernatural plot. All ten of us who started this book finished it.

We had a lot of fun with this book. It has characters we quickly grew to like, gripping action, and an intriguing setting. Several people compared this book’s urban fantasy world with the world in Metropolitan by Walter Jon Williams. The plot was firmly in the pulp fiction tradition of such classic characters as the Shadow and Doc Savage. There was a lot of good humor. The rules of magic were well established in this book, and the author followed them consistently. Lots of things blew up in this book. Doc’s vehicles (particularly the outrigger balloon) were cool. The family of small-time criminals reminded many of us of Disney’s Beagle Boys. The events in the athletic competition were clever and vicious variants of familiar sports. Despite this being the second book in a series, no one had any trouble following what was going on.

We had only minor criticisms. Some people felt that Doc Sidhe was not in enough of the foreground action. Two of the women in the group felt that this was a “guy book”. A couple of people felt the martial arts fighting scenes were too long.

Overall we found Sidhe Devil to be a delightful summertime read. We think Allston achieved his goals admirably. Many of us wanted to rush out and read (or reread) Doc Sidhe, the earlier book in this series. After the meeting we had a nice dinner at Brick Oven Pizza.

–A. T. Campbell, III