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Tales of the Red Panda: The Mind Master Paperback – December 7, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have even a passing interest in old-school heroics, smatterings of screwball comedy and two-fisted action/adventure peopled with crazed villains, mad scientists and malevolent mystics bent on global conquest, you will be doing yourself a massive disservice passing up Mr. Taylor's works.
FIve stars. because they won't let me give six.
I was especially delighted with this particular story, as it supplies some back story on the journey of young August Fenwick to become the Red Panda we know and love. Fans of the series will know how sparing Gregg Taylor typically is about releasing background on this particular hero. After all, the Red Panda is called a "mystery man" for a reason, and mysteries are meant to be savored as they slowly unfold. It took, I believe, four seasons of the podcasts before we even learned the name of the Red Panda's secret identity. Indeed, Taylor would often play it coy, sometimes dancing around that basic piece of info in a teasing way. So if it took that long to learn a name, an actual glimpse of Fenwick's developmental years is a rare treat indeed. (It gives me hope we may yet hear the story of how the Red Panda first became so averse to having other "mystery men" operating in his beloved Toronto.)
My only gripe with these books is a technical one specific to the Kindle editions: for some reason, the default font size is very tiny on my screen. Luckily the devices lets me change the default font size, as I might otherwise have happily given myself eye strain devouring these gems.
Podcasts, books, comics. Whatever medium you choose, Mr. Taylor, by all means, keep 'em coming!
The Mind Master is the second in the Tales of the Red Panda series of novels, which are, in turn, based on the wonderful audiodrama series The Red Panda Adventures. Both tell of the exploits of the Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel, a pair of superheroes fighting to keep Toronto safe in the dark times of the Great Depression, and both are written with a great love and appreciation of both the audiodrama and the pulp genres. The Mind Master carries on the tradition with a strong plot, snappy dialog, and some of the best romantic banter this side of Metropolisville. It builds and improves on its predecessor, The Crime Cabal, with a far creepier villain and an even better finale.
Finally: most stories in the Red Panda Universe focus equally on our two superheroes, and if one is ever given the spotlight over the other, it's usually Kit. The Mind Master is a bit of a rarity, in that it is truly a "Red Panda" story; it's about his past, his problems, his rival. This is to its credit, I feel; the Red Panda, beloved though he may be, has always been almost as mysterious to listeners as he is to the bad guys. Now, 5 years after we've met him, it feels immensely satisfying to get to know more about him as a person, rather than just a hero.
The only bad part of the book? Getting to the end. The wait 'til the next one's going to be long indeed.
He manages to capture the essence of the old pulp novels and radio drama's of the 30's and 40's in a way that no one else can. He pays homage to the old time characters (the Shadow etc.) while still managing to be fresh and very entertaining, and not just a blatant copy of past stories and characters.
I highly recommend the Mind Master, as well as the aforementioned The Crime Cabal and The Android Assassin's to anyone interested in cliffhanger mysteries from a past era, which are proving just as relevant and exciting today. I just purchased the latest in the Red Panda Series, The Pyramid of Evil, and even though I've only finished several chapters, it's proving to be another great read, and is well worth a purchase at twice the price.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Superb story. If you're a fan of The Red Panda from Decoder Ring Theater, don't hesitate to buy this. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Adam Goraj
They fight crime, they're Canadian, it's 1940-something. What's not to love? The Red Panda/ Gus is so DREAMY. He's like Batman, but better dressed and well adjusted. Rowr.Published 10 months ago by Verity Kindle
A classic pulp story from to 1940s written in the 21st century. This is not an homage and not a parody.Published 12 months ago by Robert F. Shimer
Great book of an awesome radio Show. Anyone who has not checked out Decoder Ring Theater on the web and listened to the broadcasts of this is really missing out.Published 23 months ago by Jack A Helm
Love the Red Panda podcasts and this is just as much fun. Thanks to Gregg Taylor for all the great entertainment.
And, while you're at it, read Black Jack Justice too.
We get a tantalizing glimpse of The Red Panda's origins, an interesting villain a match for the Panda's abilities, and a look at the lives of some of the better known agents we... Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by Patrick O'Shea
Another fantastic outing for Canada's Greatest Super-Hero! A somewhat darker tale as Gregg Taylor sets the Red Panda against a foe whose mind powers possibly surpass those of our... Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by M. Dean
This was an amazing story that shed plenty of light on August Fenwick's journey to becoming the red panda. Read morePublished on March 10, 2011 by BlaqueSaber
Love the Podcast and love the Books. The squeal is even better then the first.Published on October 7, 2010 by EvilKitty