Sinister forces are at work, striking within the very heart of the city's elite with powers that seem otherwordly. Are the attacks random? Simply for profit? Or is an unknown predator hunting our masked heroes themselves? If the mysterious Ajay Shah really does have powers that rival those of the Red Panda, will even the Terrific Twosome of Toronto be able to resist the might of...The Mind Master?
This second installment of the Tales of the Red Panda pulp adventure series can be enjoyed as a part of the ongoing series or entirely as a stand-alone adventure. Like the full-cast audio drama series that the series grew from (Decoder Ring Theatre's The Red Panda Adventures), Tales of the Red Panda: The Mind Master is a thrilling and diverting tale for any who love the classic adventure stories of the '30s and '40s and who fondly recall the golden age of radio.
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This book is not an origin story per-se, but nonetheless (through the deft use of flashback) it delivers an entertaining examination of an important piece of the Red Panda's hidden past. Gregg Taylor's performance as he reads this, his second book, is pitch perfect. The Flying Squirrel, Andie Parker, Mother Hen, Spiro, and Peters are all beautifully realized in this audio book. Those who are not familiar with Taylor's long running and extremely well realized radio plays about the protagonist will receive as good an introduction to them here as one could wish, while long time fans are well served with the kind of action and daring we've come to expect.
As usual Taylor's love of the pulp genre shines through but, where the radio format provides little time for character development with regard to his usual villains, we have in this work a fully three dimensional evil-doer - one who is as intriguing and driven as the main characters themselves.
As the story builds to its climax you can't help but be caught up in the real sense of jeopardy and suspense that Taylor creates around the conflict between his villain and protagonists. The book left me wanting more in all the right ways and I recommend it highly. This is a hugely entertaining homage to Doc Savage, the Shadow, and the other heroes of Thirties pulp fiction. Those who enjoy the high heroics of a more innocent age shouldn't let this one pass them by.
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The Mind Master provides all the super heroics and humor I was expecting in a Red Panda Tale plus some backstory that fans of the series have wanted for years.
Gregg Taylor brings to life his creation with a rock solid narration. I highly recommend this book for any long time fan or new listener. Two thumbs up!
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