Title: Fid’s Crusade
Author: David H Reiss
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: March 2018
Comment: I was given a free copy by @the_writereads and the author in exchange for an honest review. The constant threats of death from rogue superheroes did not sway me.
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Rage, grief and guilt have fuelled 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 armour 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.
Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must race against time if he is to have any hope of confronting the approaching threat. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.
In the end, it may take a villain to save the world from those entrusted with the world’s protection.
Dr Fid is evil. A super villain in fact. His very name makes superheroes tremble in their boots. Not only does he take great pleasure in delivering a smackdown to the superheroes, he also films them and puts the most embarrassing footage on the internet.
His technological inventions know no bounds and he is truly unstoppable, at least as Dr Fid.
As Terry Markham, he’s a kind-hearted genius who runs a biotech firm that seeks to better mankind.
But are the two sides of his personality so diverse?
What drives Fid to fight superheroes is a vendetta with one particular hero who is dead and therefore, beyond Fid’s reach. Instead, he takes his anger out on those superheroes he deems unworthy. Those whose hero-worship has twisted them, rendering them unfit to be objects of celebration.
Fid is determined to show the world who these so-called heroes truly are.
But the death of someone close to him suddenly shines a light on a crime that seems even too heinous for Dr Fid and it might take both him and Terry Markham to come together to save mankind.
I was given this to read in the early stages of the BBNYA and I knew immediately that I had to read more. Thankfully I was then given the whole thing to read so could devour it at my leisure and boy, did I!
The writing in this book is clever and funny and on the right side of sarcastic. Fid’s witty one-liners and stream of conscious was such a delight to read that, even before I knew his motivations, I was firmly on his side.
Dr Fid was a wonderfully complex anti-hero/ villain. Think Megamind crossed with Jekyll and Hyde with a hint of Iron Man thrown in and you have Dr Fid. He’s beyond genius levels of intelligent and has an affinity with biomechanics which border on the supernatural.
But his alter-ego, Terry Markham, uses that genius to better mankind. He creates biotech that functions to help people.
The juxtaposition of the two halves of himself seems at odds until you realise his motivations. Once that occurs you can’t help but be on his side, cheering him on as so-called heroes get their comeuppance.
This complex anti-hero is well rounded and you are both charmed and slightly alarmed at Dr Fid and his crusade to show up superheroes for the charlatans that they are. I say alarmed because often he goes just beyond what any sane person would consider as suitable retaliation; he definitely dances on the line of what is ‘justice’ and what is ‘revenge’.
The book takes a while to get around to the main story but that just gives you more time to grow to love Fid. (or maybe it was just me. I have a thing for villains. Sylar, Hook, Hades, Jareth, Spike, Loki, The Master, I mean I should really seek some help for this.)
I think it is very important that you have this groundwork because some of Fid’s later activities seem questionable- such as the augmented tech inside his own head and his own neuro-surgery and his ‘daughter’.
I really loved the journey of growth that we go on with Fid as a character throughout the story.
I have to admit that, despite not understanding half of it, I loved the technological explanations that permeate the book. I felt like I was getting a lecture from Iron Man or The Doctor. It really felt like this was someone smart trying to help us understand his creations but not having simple enough language.
The various superheroes had such a wonderful diversity of powers and their reactions to Fid showed depth of character in each of them no matter how briefly they were on featured.
I honestly think I could go on and on about his book ad-nauseum. It was one of my favourite reads from last year and a perfect five star.
In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy and sent it to my dad. We share a love of sarcastic fantasy (sass-fi?) and it was dad who gave me my first Terry Pratchett book, watched Blackadder with me and ensured that I knew what a smeghead was. Knowing his views on high brow fantasy and sci-fi I knew that he’d enjoy this book and appreciate the genius that is Doctor Fid and I was right.
I got this reply from my dad within a few days:
“I think Doctor Fid could become one of my favourite anti-heroes. Half way through the book and I have found myself wishing “I wanna be like Fid,” getting rid of all the do-gooders and dishing out my own vengeance on the so called good and bad. This is what escape from reality means. And this is only book one!”
Now, that is a gushing review.
Personally, I think that Fid’s crusade should have come first in the BBNYA but that is my own opinion.
(Which is correct.)
If you can’t tell I highly recommend this book and thank the BBNYA for giving me a chance to discover David H Reiss and Doctor Fid.