ANDREW DORAN AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS: THE ADVENTURES OF ANDREW DORAN, VOLUME 3 by Matthew Davenport

ANDREW DORAN AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS: THE ADVENTURES OF ANDREW DORAN, VOLUME 3 by Matthew Davenport, Narrated by Shaun Toole is the third installment in Davenport ‘s Doran series. Shaun Toole returns to narrate as we follow Doran and company once again taking on those rascally Nazis and cultists. Please note the review must contain some spoilers for THE STATEMENT OF ANDREW DORAN so please go and read that first before proceeding.Andrew Doran at the Mountains of Madness

I enjoyed THE STATEMENT OF ANDREW DORAN. Therefore, when Davenport contacted me asking if I would like to review volume three I was quick to say yes.   Similar to Davenports last book ANDREW DORAN AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is a romp across the globe, chasing after dangerous knowledge in order to keep it from the Nazi’s and save the world. If you’ve listened to STATEMENT you know that repeated use of magic will inevitably cause insanity for anyone who dips their toes in the black art. Doran has passed this point and his insanity as coalesced in the form of Olivia who resides within his mind as a sort of multiple personality or psychosis. I was completely blindsided by the direction Davenport went with Olivia. I’m unsure at this point if that story arc is complete but if so then hats off to the author for completely destroying my expectation in what was to happen. Surprise is good!

There is some shifting of roles among Doran’s friends in MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS and without spoiling too much I am excited to see where things are going. Even though we are only essentially two books into the adventure (the first being a story of the young Doran) I feared things would quickly go stale and predictable for Doran and his team but luckily Davenport has already shaken that up with the addition of Nancy Dyer to the team. Nancy is a real woman (so far, ha!), to interact with Doran and she seems pretty smart and more or less able to keep up.

Davenports writing is improving. The prose felt tighter this time around although there are a few spots of clunky text which could have used with extra revision. For example there are places where Doran will internally expound on an idea only to repeat it aloud again or have a colleague say the same thing which could be done away with to keep things flowing. This quibble notwithstanding the pacing of the story is good and the action excellent.

I confess I was less pleased with Shaun Toole’s voice work for most other characters in the book. I simply don’t hear French when he narrates Leo’s dialogue and at one point the text calls for a character to demonstrate “southern charm” and the result is not on point. Again, I think Toole’s voice for Doran is absolutely perfect. I only hope he can continue to work more on the accents for other characters in future installments.

Overall I am very pleased that Davenport asked me to review ANDREW DORAN AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS: THE ADVENTURES OF ANDREW DORAN, VOLUME 3. I still feel like Andrew Doran is a fun mix of Spenser, Indiana Jones, and Dirk Pitt.  With the addition of the Lovecraftian influence this series is a hoot. I only see this series getting better and better.

THE STATEMENT OF ANDREW DORAN by Matthew Davenport – Audiobook Review

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was given the book for free with the understanding I would provide an honest review.

THE STATEMENT OF ANDREW DORAN by Matthew Davenport is a Lovecraftian horror novel set during World War II. We get an array of monsters, zombies, and Nazi’s (oh my!). Clocking in at six hours STATEMENT had a good pulp serial feel to it. We have some action and it always felt like Professor Doran was in the right place at the right time in order to find himself in a bit of a pickle. Being Lovecraftian in nature I was ready for some flat out insanity and wasn’t disappointed. Grim and gruesome, fun was had by all.

I co51HXKQExIcL._SL300_nfess I found myself lost in the plot more than once. The quick pace of the storyline means you can’t read or listen with your mind on your dinner.   The crux of the story is Professor Doran’s chasing a copy of the Necronomicon, which is a magical book of great power. Along the way Doran is joined by French femme fatale Olivia and her French Resistance cohort with the aim of getting into German occupied France and ultimately recovering the Necronomicon from the Nazi’s.

I liked the character of Doran. He reminded me of a mashup of Indiana Jones, Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt, and the indomitable Robert E. Parker’s Spenser which is a series I adore.   In the Lovecraft works I have read, which is not complete, often the main character is fainting or otherwise succumbing to the surrounding insanity whereas Doran keeps his feet and moves ever on. Doran’s a man’s man and that is a good thing in this story’s setting.   I must say most other characters seem a bit flat and undeveloped however in a short serial perhaps this will be rectified in future installments so I forgive it here.

Davenport’s prose is sparing and workmanlike. Being a shorter piece there isn’t much world building and I suppose that can be expected and forgiveable as today’s readers are likely well acquainted with the WWII setting from the great quantity of other media on the subjet. The action is well written and we get some nice ghastly sights to take in.

I must say that the audiobook narration by Shaun Toole was not without issue. Toole’s passive observer narration was quite good however his character voice work felt like it could use some work. His female voices were particularly jarring and foreign accent’s sounded off to my ear.   With some work on those areas I think he could have a great future in narration.

With good action, creepy settings, and a main character with some guts I enjoyed my time with Professor Andrew Doran and would gladly pickup a sequel.