Friday, May 27

The Abduction of Amy Roberts (2003) (The Bronze Saga #4)

By Mark and Karen Eidemiller

After the somewhat more sedate offering with #3, The Bronze Avengers, the action ratchets back up to 11. Set in the days after 9-11, The Abduction of Amy Roberts finds the adoptive, but no less electronically gifted, daughter of Long Tom Roberts kidnapped by an African terrorist to construct the final intricate mechanism to implement a plot which will, to paraphrase Doc (called “Clark” in this series), “make 9-11 look like a cakewalk.” Clark and his new band of brothers launch a rescue mission that takes them to “The Land of Long Juju” (one of the original Doc Savage pulp novels that I don't believe I've actually read) in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Along the way they find an ally in one Hugo Danner (Philip Wylie's The Gladiator), who has survived as tough and strong as ever (think the original 1938 Superman) and who has also become a Christian. It's a rousing tale of high-tech neopulp adventure, with the Eidemillers' own unique take. I've already mentioned in a previous entry the one drawback to this series of “Christian Adventures of Doc Savage”; no need to belabor it here, other than to assure the reader that it doesn't detract from the overall story one bit.

But since this is the first of the Bronze Saga stories that I've given a full entry to, and it's taking up midstream so to speak, I do want to give at least a blurb about the previous stories to bring us up to speed. The first of the novels was:

Bronze Refined as Silver – establishes the basic premise of this series, telling how the 1930s-40s adventurer and crime-fighter Doc Savage woke from fifty years of suspended animation into a world that was not his own. He was found and “saved” by a street preacher named Perry Liston. They set out to find those members of his previous band of adventurers who are still living – Monk, Long Tom, Johnny, and Renny – as well as their various descendants, putting together (as I put it above) a latter-day band of brothers. They also encounter Doc's beautiful cousin Pat Savage – who has unfortunately “turned to the dark side.” Conflict with Pat, who blames Doc for everything bad that happened to her after he disappeared, helps set up the second story:

More Precious Than Gold – takes us back to the Valley of the Vanished in Hidalgo, where we even meet again, albeit all to briefly, Princess (now Queen) Monja. (Notice how I'm trying not to give away too many spoilers? These stories are well worth reading for yourself.)

Bronze Avengers – I referred to it above as more “sedate.” Well, that's if you can call a major earthquake and its aftermath “sedate”! In the course of this story Doc's new circle of supporters grows larger, and he even discovers that his legacy from the 1930s and 1940s, seemingly sullied by the discovery of what he had been doing at the “Crime College” in upstate New York shortly after he disappeared (his brain surgeries on criminals to transform them into productive and peaceful members of society was considered a gross violation of their civil and human rights), has nonetheless survived in an unexpected way.

Which brings us to The Abduction of Amy Roberts.

Throughout this series the spiritual life and transformation of the characters is a major theme – redemption. It's generally very well written. Sometimes the lack of professional editing does let the occasional grammatic or stylistic faux pas slip through, and I'm not sure a “real” publisher would allow the Eidemillers to so self-indulgently write themselves into the stories as much as they do. But these - as well as the sometimes overbearing evangelical tone - are ultimately minor things.  And the fact is that I find myself more in tune with the Eidemillers' world-view that they are trying to get across than not.  I understand where they're coming from.  And so I highly recommend these e-books as a rather offbeat but engaging series of Christian fiction. I'm finding myself tearing right through them. I started the first on Good Friday and have read through about one a week since then.

By the way, I have to say a couple of words about the covers that I have pictured above. The images are taken from the Eidemillers' website, which has a gallery of pictures to go with the Bronze Saga. They are photoshopped in the style of the old 1960s series of Bantam reprints of Doc Savage pulps which established for all time thereafter the iconic image of Doc Savage as illustrated by James Bama. Pretty clever work - although I didn't picture Kananga as Idi Amin!


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