Andrew Doran at the Mountains of Madness

Write on: Sun, 15 Jul 2018 by  in Charles' Reviews Be the first to comment! Read 1750


I'm a big fan of Matthew Davenport's Cthulhu Mythos novels. I really enjoyed THE TRIAL OF OBED MARSH and thought THE STATEMENT OF ANDREW DORAN was a lot of fun. However, I was interested in where the story could go after the events of the first novel. It's not often an author combines Indiana Jones, the Cthulhu Mythos, and Titus Crow. Where do you go from there? Well, nicely, the answer is Antarctica to prevent the Nazis and some nasty cultists from raising an army of shoggoths to destroy everything.

This is definitely not your typical H.P. Lovecraft story but a Pulpy adventure story about a two-fisted archaeologist with magic at his disposal. It takes our hero and his posse from Miskatonic University to the Western United States to the Dreamlands to the ruins of the Elder Things. I never had the slightest doubt Andrew Doran would be able to save the day but I didn't need to in order to have a great deal of fun. There's a lot of great moments in the book like Andrew's decision to excise his magically-created split personality, recruiting his machine-gun toting Girl Friday Nancy, and Andrew Doran proving he's more morally ambiguous than Indiana Jones with several Faustian deals.

In the end, though, Andrew is trying to keep the Nazis from UNLIMITED POWER so anything he does is justified. I confess, I hope Matthew Davenport does another of these novels as I'm quite eager to see how Andrew will deal with the last days of the war and the communists. Hopefully, Matthew Davenport can do better than Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.

Andrew Doran is a great protagonist even if he's a bit too smug and self-assured about his ability to do everything correctly (except Miskatonic University paperwork). One of the funniest scenes in the book is proclaiming that he's going to keep cultist, Nazi, and other infiltrators from joining their staff as they've done before. Then he sees the 250 applications he has to go through in a day and realizes he can't be a globe trotting adventurer as well as make the vetting calls he'd need to do it. It's a small but hilarious moment.

I wasn't a big fan of how the previous book treated Olivia, who was the most interesting female character in the series. I'm not a big fan of how her story ends in this book either. However, I am interested in newcomer Nancy who takes up the role as Andrew Doran's gun-toting Girl Friday. Their relationship is strictly platonic and I appreciate Matthew Davenport didn't create a romance when Andrew Doran's true love is, presently, himself.

If there's one small complaint I had about the book, it's the fact I didn't like how starkly Black and White everything was. I'm very sympathetic to the shoggoths since they rebelled against their slave masters. Likewise, I can't imagine the Nazis being too fond of Cthulhu cultists (who are multi-racial individuals who reject any notion of a Master Race other than ones with gills). It seems the Bad GuysTM are a little too chummy for what would be, in my opinion, irreconcilable differences.

Despite this, I have to give the book two thumbs up and recommend it to people who want a nice WW2 adventure story involving tentacle monsters. There's nothing quite so pulpy as a globe trotting trip around the world to fight the Third Reich as they seek to harness the power of the Elder Things. The fact shoggoths are considered to be the ultimate weapon which could wipe out the rest of the world also reminded me of SHOGGOTHS IN BLOOM by Elizabeth Bear where the protagonists debate unleashing them on the Nazis in a bit of an ironic reversal.

Last modified on Thursday, 03 January 2019 19:09
C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.


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