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To the world at large, Doc Wilde and his family are an amazing team of golden-skinned adventurers, born to daring escapades and globetrotting excitement! Join them as they crisscross the Earth on a constant quest for new knowledge, incredible 21st-century thrills, and good old-fashioned adventure!Now, with adventurous Grandpa Wilde missing, the Wildes confront the deepestTo the world at large, Doc Wilde and his family are an amazing team of golden-skinned adventurers, born to daring escapades and globetrotting excitement! Join them as they crisscross the Earth on a constant quest for new knowledge, incredible 21st-century thrills, and good old-fashioned adventure!Now, with adventurous Grandpa Wilde missing, the Wildes confront the deepest mysteries of Dark Matter, penetrate the tangled depths of uncharted jungles, and come face to face with the likely end of the world in the clammy clutches of an ancient amphibian threat... THE FROGS OF DOOM!Now in deluxe illustrated editions, Tim Byrd’s Doc Wilde novels recapture the magic of classic pulp cliffhangers for readers of all ages....

Title : Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780989443302
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom Reviews

  • Werner
    2018-12-06 00:10

    Lester Dent meets H. P. Lovecraft in this adventure yarn, with a sizable dollop of Eoin Colfer thrown in: in tone, style and reading level --and to a degree in essential conception, although the Wildes, unlike the Fowls, are resolutely law-abiding and ethical-- this book reminded me of Artemis Fowl. Like the latter, it's aimed primarily at pre-teen readers, and should prove equally popular with them. Indeed, my rating above is based on the author's skillful appeal to this audience; while I did like it (and better than Colfer's series-opener!), my rating based strictly on my own reaction would have been three stars --it lacked the amount of texture and character development that it usually takes to earn four stars from me. That wouldn't be a problem for most kids, though.Doc Wilde, adventurer and scientific polymath, is based on Lester Dent's Doc Savage character from the early modern adventure pulps (I haven't read any of L. Dent's work myself --though this book whetted my interest in doing so). Here, the challenge he must confront is posed by an extraterrestrial, amphibious Elder God from beyond our universe, itching to break into our universe and wreak havoc, and invested with all of the Lovecraftian trappings that Cthulhu Mythos fans (like me!) will readily recognize and eat up with a spoon. :-) But Doc is accompanied in his adventures by his 12 and 10 year-old kids Brian and Wren, an element missing in Byrd's pulp fiction models, but calculated to appeal to an audience of their peers. Now, even though these kids are mentally and physically trained better than most adults, they're still kids; some readers will find it unrealistic that a parent would expose them to that degree of danger, even granting that he's a male parent (Mrs. Wilde is dead years ago --if she were alive, I suspect she'd have enthusiastic objections!), and will feel that if he did, he should be prosecuted by social services for reckless endangerment. :-) Those readers have a case, but it misses the point: this is essentially a child's fantasy, a literary daydream of what they could do with that kind of training and a parent willing to let them use it. And their identification with heroic kids who make a difference in the outcome of the situation --as Brian and Wren do here-- isn't a bad thing.The short chapters that one reviewer complained of don't actually make for a choppy narrative, because the story flows in a quick-moving current; the chapter divisions just correspond to what in some works would be a skipped line to indicate a scene change, and often emphasize an ominous or cliffhanger moment. (I wasn't bothered, either, by the occasional use of unconventional typescript for emphasis --it wasn't overused, and for me didn't interfere with readability.) Obviously, the one-sentence claim of a role for the book's Elder God figure in the supposed evolution of earthly life clashes with a creationist view, as does Lovecraft's own passing mention, in At the Mountains of Madness, of the supposed role of his aliens in the origin of mankind; but in both places, this isn't a major thrust of the story as a whole nor essential to the plot, and so can simply be passed over. (After all, if you can accept the idea that a child could be trained to "see" in the dark by echolocation --though not as well as a bat can-- temporary suspension of disbelief for anything won't be a big problem!)All of the members of the Wilde family are larger-than-life characters, as tends to be the case in adventure fiction, and they're delineated mostly in terms of what they can do, without much attention to their interior life; but again, that's a characteristic of the genre. Byrd writes well, giving you enough detail to bring the characters and scenes to life but not to interfere with a quick narrative pace; he keeps action scenes and physical jeopardies frequent, so there's never a dull moment, and the situations are genuinely demanding for the characters (Wren's long crawl through a narrow subterranean tunnel in pitch darkness, for instance, isn't for the claustrophobic). Despite the Lovecraftian theme, he wisely eschews preaching cosmic despair -- confronted by a universe-threatening ancient evil of great power and malevolence, the Wildes don't sink into suicidal existential angst; they just set their jaws and kick some amphibian butt. :-) There are a number of other good touches here: I liked the strong family bond among the Wildes, their ecological concern, their preference for not killing if they can avoid it, and the positive portrayal of homeschooling; and I also appreciated the fact that Wren was an equal member of the team, not excluded from adventuring because of her gender, as was often the fate of females in the adventure fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Grandma's no slouch at akido, either. :-)) Byrd has just the right note of deadpan humor; and like Edgar Rice Burroughs, he's adept at switching focus between separated characters to create cliff- hanger situations. The climax and denouement are well-done. But where the Wildes really won my heart was when I read, "Like Doc and the kids, the grandparents Wilde liked only one thing more than adventuring: reading." As a librarian (and fellow reader), I LIKE this family! :-)

  • Dan Schwent
    2018-12-16 00:06

    Grandpa Wilde has disappeared and it's up to Doc Wilde and his two kids to track him down. What does Grandpa's disappearance have to do with a mysterious photo of him beside a strange frog-shaped cave?Doc Wilde is an adventure pulp in the vein of Doc Savage, whom Grandpa Wilde is a dead ringer for. If I was twenty years younger, it would quite possibly be one of my favorite books. How many YA books do you know of that feature dark matter, the Cthulhu mythos, and nanites, all wrapped in a Doc Savage style adventure tale? My gripes with this book are minor and all involve the format. The two page chapters were annoying, as were the sound effects and word balloons inserted into the text.

  • Scope
    2018-11-24 00:23

    Chapter 1Travis sits down to review the new middle grade adventure Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom. He decides to incorporate the book's cliffhanger-heavy style into the review when there is a knock at the door. He gets up as the knocking becomes more urgent. When Travis opens the door, he can’t believe what he sees.Chapter 2It is his old college roommate Greg. Average height with dark hair, Greg anxiously asks what books Travis has been reading lately. Surprised, but relieved, Travis offers his friend a refreshment and begins to tell Greg about Doc Wild. After a few seconds, without warning, Greg spits out his drink all over the living room.Chapter 3“A secret civilization of mutated manfrogs?” Greg exclaims, after apologizing for making a mess.“Indeed”, says Travis. “They live in the jungles of South America, in a tiny country called the Republic of Hildalgo. They are after an object that, in their evil hands, could bring the world to its knees.”Chapter 4“The object is a small carved emerald frog. It holds the key to bringing their leader, Frogon, back from another dimension. There’s just one problem. One BIG problem."Chapter 5“The frog is in the possession of the world renowned adventurer Doc Wilde. Along with his daughter Wren, son Brian, Phineas Bartlett (attorney), and Declan mac Coul (driver/pilot), Doc is lured to Hidalgo to find his father, who has been kidnapped. It is there that the powers of the emerald frog reveal themselves, taking over the body of Declan mac Coul, and putting the fate of the world in danger.”“Hold on!” says Greg, “I have a very important question to ask you”.Chapter 6“Will kids like it?” asks Greg.“Many will”, Travis responds. “It’s full of excitement, gadgets, and gross frogs. Reluctant readers will likely approve of the short chapters and no-nonsense plot pacing.” Travis looks around, and continues, “But there’s one more thing.” Greg leans in and listens carefully to what comes next.Chapter 7“Inspired by the Doc Savage pulp adventures from the '30s and '40s, Doc Wilde and his family are heroes in the classic sense: smart, athletic, strong, well-traveled, and good-looking. The author, aware of how impossible this is, presents these over-the-top characters with a bit of subtle humor, which every kid won’t pick up on. This fact isn't likely to deter many, however."Greg takes this all in and gives the cover a thoughtful glance. After a couple seconds of careful though, he blurts out "Don Johnson!"Chapter 8"What?" says a confused Travis."Doc Wilde. He kinda looks like Don Johnson on the cover. A nice touch. Anyway, sound like this is an adventure that young readers will approve of. Mind if I give it a read?"Travis slowly puts out an open hand. "As soon as I review it."

  • Thomas
    2018-11-30 02:10

    I had to go well out of my way to find a copy of this puppy at an out of town library -- which I did, because of my interest in Doc Savage, on which the Doc/Dad character is based. This middle grade readers adventure story, about an inventor's family going on an adventure to rescue the grandfather from Lovecraftian frog-creatures, is adorable. There are lots of fun inventions and lots of caves, aircraft adventures, etc. It's a great idea and plenty of fun, and if the formatting doesn't bother you then you'll love it even more than I did. If you've got kids (or nephews, nieces, etc) who like adventure fiction, archaeology, science, travel, etc, then this is definitely worth a try. However, from an adult perspective, I found the formatting the only displeasing thing about it; there are a lot of call-outs, pull quotes, speech bubbles and over 60 chapters in a 186-page book, which broke me up every time I got into a reading flow. I've read zillions of books for middle grade readers, so while it's probably not as jarring to younger readers, I'm pretty familiar with the general principles of the genre and I love middle-grade books. The formatting was supposed to be "innovative" and "clever." Maybe kids would like it, but it made my copyeditor bells go DING DING DING constantly and I swear there were electric sparks shooting out of my ears at times. In the copyediting trade we used to call these formatting tricks "schoolgirling," which is utterly inappropriate when it occurs in a physician's paper on a study of a new chemotherapy-supportive care drug, but really, when used in children's adventure fiction it shouldn't bother the reader. I mean, it's for, you know, schoolgirls, right? But I'm a geezer. It didn't sour me on the book by any stretch, but I had to struggle to get through it.Which is too bad, because the story's fun and cute and entertaining, and there's lots of fun scientific speculation in it. So if you're not a crotchety old slowly decaying copyeditor from the big city with french roast pumping through his veins and a permanent scowl on his wrinkled face, you'll probably enjoy it even more than I did.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2018-12-14 01:05

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.comFans of American/Michigan Chillers are sure to enjoy Doc Wilde's adventures. DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM is perfect for action-loving readers in the middle grade age group.Doc Wilde teams up with son Brian and daughter Wren for a wild experience in the jungles of South America. The action starts high on the side of a skyscraper when creepy-crawly looking frogs plaster themselves to the window of the family offices. Are these bloated monsters related to the disappearance of the kids' Grandfather? All they can hope to do is gather a specimen or two and use scientific research to test out their theory.Capturing one of the creatures puts first Brian and then his father in near-death situations. Using cool James Bond-type special effects, Brian dangles high over the streets of the city and attempts to pry the sticky, icky frogs from the skyscraper window. When things go heart-stoppingly wrong and it seems almost guaranteed that Brian's life is over, his father sweeps in to the rescue.The action doesn't stop there as the family packs their scientific bag of tricks and heads to the tiny, mysterious South American country of Hidalgo. Even using their vast research capabilities, they are only able to discover the bare minimum about the place. But all the information they have about their missing Grandfather points in that direction.DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM offers non-stop excitement, terrific special effects, and tons of science/geek information. Just over 180 pages with 60 chapters perfect for short reading stints, this book promises to be a hit with the younger tween set.

  • Kelly Trogdon
    2018-11-29 23:17

    I bought this book for two reasons: to support a local author, and to give my child something fun to read. I had no preconceived idea of the book, or its plot or style. Imagine my surprise when I read it AND LOVED IT !! It was everything I thought it would be, and more......I grew up reading fantasy books like THE DARK IS RISING series by Susan Cooper. I wanted my 10 year old daughter to have the same sort of experience. To be completely immersed in the story, and carried along by it. She read it all in one day, and only put it down to participste in required activities. I, on the other hand, read it very slowly, to enjoy it, and to understand the nuances. It stood up very well to both tests !! I am an avid reader but often find myself reading books and criticizing either a plot turn as predictable, or character development as being lacking, or worse yet sometimes the language usage or vocabulary is repetitive. But in this case, I cared about these characters! Since my degree is in science, and I have a doctorate, I was pleased that an author could write such a plausible work of fiction about frogs as the "enemy" and include so much detail about the Wilde family's curious inventions. Willing suspension of disbelief aside, I fell for it all : hook, line and sinker !! Even gasped out loud at the two BIG plot twists !!My only complaint is that I wanted to find out what happens next in the series... and that's what Doc prescribed, right? Keep 'em wanting MORE !!

  • Chris
    2018-11-18 02:25

    I was impressed with the story of Doc Wilde and his kids. Tim Byrd has an author's voice for high adventure, that's for sure. It felt like a book for pre-teens, but I think that adventure fans of all ages should enjoy it.Pulp adventure with a Lovecraftian menace as the main antagonist. Brian and Wren are delightful as adventurers-in-training, and are full of educational sidebits. I found the literary quotes and the brief lessons in geography, language, history, and science to be very enlightening. A kid should enjoy those parts without even realizing that they are learning something.The only negative I would attach to the book is that I felt it ended rather abruptly. It built to a climax rather nicely, and the resolution of the main plot was just fine, but it seemed that it wrapped up in a hurried manner. Perhaps this is a pulp adventure trait; I've not read much in the genre. It did answer questions I had, it just seemed to brush over them rather quickly. It's not really a complaint, since it did work, but I did feel like I was slamming on brakes there at the end. Maybe that was by design, so I won't be too critical of that.Very nice work, Mr. Byrd. I would be interested in seeing more adventures of Brian, Wren, and Doc. And I had to say that I very much enjoyed the banter/rivalry between Declan and Bartlett, Doc Wilde's hired help.

  • ShariMulluane
    2018-12-03 00:19

    There is more then just nonstop action and adventure in this story, though it has those in spades, it is also educational. There are explanations for everything from nanotechnology to meditation techniques. This book was written for the 10+ age group and while I agree that some of the educational portions of the book (I loved those by the way) might be lost on younger kids, I still kept having the same vision. I kept seeing myself reading this book to my grandkids, who are 5 and 6 years old. Not them reading it themselves mind you, but me reading it to them, a few chapters at a time, explaining things myself if needed. They might not understand some of the more technical aspects but it would not matter, they would LOVE the story! And, possibly learn a few things along the way. This book would be perfect for bedtime reading, the chapters are short and there are plenty of cliffhanger chapter endings to keep them begging for "just one more chapter...pleeeese..." You may find that you have a hard time putting it down yourself!Full Review Here: Old Bat's Belfry

  • Jan
    2018-12-05 23:22

    Twelve-year-old Brian and his 10-year-old sister Wren are just your average kids -- except for their martial arts and survival training. Except that they live in a huge mansion on a high wooded hill with their father's amazing scientific workshop underneath it. Doc Wilde, their father, is the world's greatest adventurer; he and the kids are always ready at a moment's notice to leave for another adventure."Your grandfather has disappeared again!" Cool! Wren flips down from her trapeze, Brian grabs his backpack, and they slide down the spiral slide to the basement. This adventure takes them to the Amazon rain forest and some mysterious human-sized frogs. Brian, Wren and Doc Wilde leap from one narrow escape to the next with amazing physical and mental skills.Chapters are short, with adventures on every page. The frenetic action gives you no time for character development, so don't expect it -- just enjoy the nonstop Superman-style adventures. Great for reluctant readers, or any adventure-lovers, ages 8-13.

  • Caine Dorr
    2018-12-17 02:03

    Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom is adventure fiction at it's finest. Its completely changed how I want to write my next book. I'd encourage any "Men's Adventure" genre fan to pick it up - you'll enjoy the pace and action in the book while being able to read it to your younger kids as well as hand it off to your older kids to read on their own.

  • Katie Jane
    2018-11-22 00:18

    Just the right amount of over-the-top adventure.

  • P.J.
    2018-12-04 02:14

    book 56 for 2009

  • Melissa
    2018-11-15 23:11

    Mutant frogs. Intelligent adventurers. Awesome title. Doesn't get much better than this.

  • John
    2018-11-16 03:58

    I thought Tim Byrd's "Doc Wilde" book was a great pastiche that outgrew pastiche. In ways it outgrew the material that inspired it. I love all the old Doc Savage stories with all my heart and soul, but Byrd captures all the things that make those stories awesome but adds in characters that seem more realistic (or at least more human), and he writes better than Lester Dent ever did. That might not be fair though since Byrd no doubt benefits from a much longer writing/editing cycle than Dent, who had to write one of these a month.Werner's right about the Lovecraft elements in the book. The villains are clever sendups of the creatures in Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." I enjoy Lovecraft, but I'm far from a purist and no scholar of his work. But I enjoyed Byrd's playful reworking of Lovecraft's tropes. Oddly, in spite of the lack of nihilism and the overall quite optimistic feel of the story, the creatures in Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom still manage to be surprisingly scary.In fact at one moment that springs to mind, Doc Wilde is so overwhelmed by the enormity of his enemies and the odds against him that he is momentarily frozen, at a loss for what to do. Then he chooses bold action, as is his style, and breaks the freeze. I liked that. It deepened both the suspense of the moment and Doc's character, in a quick little flourish.The book is full of pulp allusions that any pulp fan will enjoy. I really liked how Byrd took tropes not only from Doc Savage stories but all sorts of other tales and seamlessly wove them into a story that zips along at lightning speed. He also took tropes and made them his own. For instance, in the old Doc Savage stories, Doc had a weird tic in which he made a strange "trilling" sound when he was excited. It's an odd and, I've always thought, stupid feature of the stories that I always thought shouldn't have been there. There's a scene in Byrd's book, however, that uses that "trilling" in a way that makes complete sense in the world of Doc Wilde, and offers a reasonable explanation for what that trilling sound actually is. It's very cool.Byrd also manages to not only fill the book with literary allusions (without slowing its runaway train pace), he works in some amazing science, ranging from Doc Wilde's reasons for using an autogyro rather than a plane or helicopter, to humans using echolocation like bats or dolphins (which seems impossible, but if you do a bit of research on the topic "Human Echolocation" you'll find it's fascinatingly real). Tim Byrd's book definitely needs to be read by anyone who loves pulp adventures. It's sold as a kids' book but I enjoyed it as much as any "grown up" pulp adventure I've read in years, and a good deal more than most. It's smart and witty and fun. I'm looking forward to the next one.

  • Kaleb
    2018-12-14 23:00

    I loved this book, and especially where it led me. It led me to the classic pulps of the early 20th century, Doc Savage especially. Then, my personal favorite, The Shadow. They played a huge role in inspiring my own writing. For the book itself, it was a great and enjoyable read. The plot went fast, was quite surprising, and grabbed my attention and held it like a steam-clamp. The characters were great as well, especially Doc Wilde and his relationship with his kids.I'm definitely looking forward to more Doc Wilde adventures.

  • Randy
    2018-12-16 00:05

    I liked this book. An obvious homage to Doc Savage and H. P. Lovecraft(who I'm not all that familiar with).To me, it's plain that Gandpa, all of ninety-nine years of age, is Savage in disguise(so to speak). Clark Wilde, Jr.I only gave it a four because the short chapters were a bit off-putting to me(a personal quibble). It shouldn't distract other readers though.

  • Betsy
    2018-12-11 02:58

    One-Sentence Review: I appreciated how the book just leapt headfirst into the action, catching readers up after the fact, and also how I can now hand kids something when they come asking me for books "Just like Indiana Jones" (which really does happen).

  • Tami
    2018-12-16 04:25

    Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom is FUN! For kids who like cartoons like The Secret Saturdays or movies like Spy Kids, this book is for you! Doc Wilde is a famous adventurer, known for fighting evil villains and monsters. His children, Brian and Wren, often join him on his adventures.In this story, Grandpa Wilde (Doc’s father) has gone missing in the Rainforest of South America. The only clue is a photograph of Grandpa standing in the mouth of a cave (carved to look like a giant frog with fangs) and a small frog made from a single piece of emerald with ruby red eyes, which he somehow managed to send to Grandma before he disappeared.Before the Wildes have even left for the Rainforest they encounter spy frogs outside the 86th floor of the Empire State Building and mutated Frog Men on the roof. Brian even falls from the 86th floor trying to capture a spy frog for observation!Trained in various martial arts and survival skills since birth, the Wildes finally set off for South America to find and rescue Grandpa. Their rescue attempt quickly becomes a mission to save the world from an evil alien Frog and his manaical worshipers.The story takes itself seriously enough to be a rollicking thrill ride and is still told with enough humor and old-fashioned adventure to engage the reader at every turn. I highly recommend this book as a fun read-aloud or independent reading selection–particularly for students who enjoy the adventure genre!

  • Nick
    2018-11-29 02:12

    I'd have liked it better if the pastiche hadn't been quite so heavy-handed. The basic concept is that it is about the son and grandchildren of a barely-disguised Doc Savage. The writer tries to mix this adventure genre with Lovecraftian creatures, also thinly-disguised [Dagon and the Deep Ones become "Frogon" and the "Leap Ones"...really!:]. Since he admits all this up front, it really does qualify as a pastiche, but even so...too often, he makes things up as needed by the plot, like spring "gremlitoads" on the readers at a key point, or other out-of-the-blue plot developments. In other cases, he skips over key scenes so that the reader has no idea how something happened.Still, the book is a lot of fun, and young adventure-lovers will read it with relish. In fact, for readers NOT familiar with Doc Savage or H. P. Lovecraft, it may all seem fresh enough to enjoy more.

  • Kathryn
    2018-12-17 00:17

    This intelligent and entertaining novel is an homage to the pulp adventures of old, but updated with cutting-edge (and beyond) scientific gadgets, nanotechnology, and environmental awareness. There's witty banter, cliff-hanging suspense, and of course larger-than-life heroes. That's heroes, plural, because the titular Doc Wilde has been training his ten-year-old daughter and twelve-year-old son to follow in his colossal footsteps, and they are every bit the dauntless adventurers he is. Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom would be a great read-aloud book for families, as well as fun reading for kids.

  • Erik Dewey
    2018-11-25 02:25

    A fun kids book. Very much in the vein of Doc Savage, actually, I'd go as far as saying it is a kids Doc Savage.It moves very quickly and really the only problem with the book is that everyone in it is so perfect. Still, the original Doc Savage's were quite like that and this books is such an homage that I can't fault them.My only concern is that for kids who don't even know who Doc Savage is, they might not get it. Still, that's what parents are for, to tell them the great tales of yesteryear.So definately worth a read if you have any love for pulp stories.

  • Nydia Macedo
    2018-12-12 02:12

    This exciting adventure, in the pulp style I love, caught me right in the first lines. The saga involving the brilliant Dr. Spartacus Wilde and his no less brilliant children to rescue his missing father, and all the crazy things that happens along the way, including the scary mutant frogs, brings back the thrill really good pulp stories left us orphans many years ago. You have all the ingredients: smart and charming characters, a beautiful family bond, gadgets that could be in James Bond's collection, breathtaking chases, you name it. It's a book that will captivate readers of all ages.

  • blueneon
    2018-11-18 02:25

    This is a quick, fun, wild adventure book. Doc Wilde feels like a modern Indiana Jones on steroids. He has two kids, both training to become a great adventurer like their father. When their grandfather goes missing their family embarks on a journey into the South American jungles and fights the frogs of doom. Each chapter is very short, only about 2-5 pages with cliffhanger endings. Great for reluctant readers looking for a short, exciting adventure book.

  • Susan
    2018-11-29 02:59

    Not just for teens, a great romp! Over the top a little like teen adventures, but you do laugh out loud. I liked the character of Wren a lot and how she handles the twists from life and adventures with their father.

  • Dru
    2018-12-08 07:25

    this is a cool adventure story, with fantastic pacing that makes this book hard to put down. recommended for boys.

  • Tye
    2018-12-12 04:16

    This was a great adventure book for adults and kids alike.

  • Chris
    2018-11-25 06:16

    I didn't like this story, but it's probably more because it's not my type, rather than because it's a genuinely bad story.I knew coming in that Doc Wilde would be "over the top", and that it was a light-hearted, sillier version of pulp adventure fiction. Here's a guy who's like Indiana Jones with a lot more muscles and an IQ of 200 or so, and he brings his kids along with him. And the entire family has been trained by monks, ninjas and everything else you can imagine, to be prepared for every possible situation. And they read a lot and have a great deal of knowledge on almost every subject under the sun.Basically, I wasn't prepared for just *how* over-the-top and silly the book was going to be. The plot itself would make for a fun adventure. Mutant frogs show up and start causing trouble, and it turns out that these frogs are actually spies for an ancient god named Frogon, who has a tribe of frog-people in South America trying to bring him back to power. Doc, his two friends, and his kids, all set out to do something about it. There's a few plot twists and close calls, and the team gets separated.But Roger Ebert once famously said about moviemaking, "it's not what the story is, it's how the story is told." And the way this story is told totally affects the entire thing. It's not simply that the characters crack jokes while in danger, like action heroes do. It's just the way every little thing is exaggerated.Chapters are very very short, one of them being literally only a page long! Words written in comic-style bold or even in speech balloons are all over the place, trying to emphasize action. And there's a lot of action, all of it very implausible, as it seems the heroes prepared for every possible situation and use knowledge or abilities no-one could possibly have. You know how bats use echolocation - making clicking noises in their throats - to find their way in the dark? A kid does that here, to find her way through a dark cave. That should illustrate what I'm talking about.The heroes' lifestyle is even more over-the-top. The kids practice their athletic maneuvers by getting out of bed in the morning - because their bedrooms are partially obstacle courses. The Wilde family has a massive laboratory, and works in a 104-story building. The kids actually argue over who gets to engage in a life-threatening stunt like jumping off the side of a building with a harness attached - each one wants to do it first!Undoubtedly there's a market for this. It's so distinctive and indifferent that it has to appeal to someone, and judging from the reviews it's gotten, it obviously does. Someone who could handle and enjoy such insane extremes might love the story more for them. Personally, I walked in expecting an adventure with many light-hearted, humorous moments, and got something that's totally wacky and stretches plausibility until it snaps, and ultimately, I just couldn't get into the story or care about the characters, which are the two main reasons I read.

  • Dale
    2018-11-19 05:24

    Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom by Tim ByrdI will give a spoiler alert, although I don’t believe I have given away too much. But one man’s hint sometimes is another’s spoiler.It all started with the disappearance of Doc Wilde’s father, the only clues being a very strange frog artifact and a picture of the elder Wilde inside a frog-shaped natural rock formation. He stands in the mouth of the frog, which is a stalactite fanged cave.Doctor Spartacus Wilde is the son of Doctor Wilde and Pat Wilde who live in their headquarters on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. The elder Wilde was an adventurer in the 30’s and 40’s. Retired, he still manages to get into scrapes from time to time.Doc Wilde is raising his two children, Brian, 12, and Wren, 10; his wife having died in undisclosed circumstances. Brian and Wren are no ordinary kids; they have been trained by Doc and are stronger, faster, and more intelligent than most adults. They are aided in their adventures by the very proper, fashionably dressed, Englishman Phineas Bartlett; the Wilde family majordomo at Lyonesse, their fortress of a home. Also an aide is Declan mac Clou, chauffeur, pilot, and ape like strongman.The adventure reads like a Doc Savage novel combined with an Indiana Jones movie, spiced with a good measure of HP Lovecraft! Like a Doc Savage novel there is danger, a hidden mastermind, exotic local, and over the top bad guys. Like an Indiana Jones movie, there is an unusual artifact, and an underground lair that is full of traps and difficult to negotiate. And from the world of HP Lovecraft, a Frog God and his unusual worshipers rise to threaten the entire world.The frogs begin to surface in New York; weird deformed amphibians such as might be spawned by nuclear radiation, but that show no signs of radiation. Some are the size of humans, and armed with claws and fangs and a dreadful sense of some dark purpose.From Lyonesse, where the first attack takes place, to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, to the jungles of Hidalgo, Doc Wilde and crew fight these Frogs of Doom in a race to set the elder Doctor Wilde free, before the Frogs of Doom set something else, a horror beyond imagination, free upon this world…This book is fantastic! Written for a younger audience than usually read pulp fiction, it still manages to satisfy the requirements for total pulp experience! The interweaving of the various pulp worlds into one solid adventure marks Tim Byrd as a master wordsmith!The book gets five stars plus from the old Raven!Quoth the Raven…

  • Andy Goldman
    2018-12-10 04:14

    I picked up Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom during its Kickstarter, where it pledged to "recapture the magic of classic pulp adventure stories, with lost worlds, ancient ruins, weird science, evil villains, and daring heroes, bringing them into the 21st century with contemporary themes, modern scientific notions, the wonders of a close family, and a deep appreciation of literature and of the thinking life itself."I'm not sure about the last two items on the list, but the book mostly delivered on its promises. Doc Wilde and his children Brian and Wren are more like gods than humans: in superb physical shape, masters of many languages and scads of obscure knowledge, trained in the most useful mental and physical martial arts. They have nary a negative trait, drawback, or disadvantage amongst them, which definitely gives the book an old-time feel.The Wildes are joined by rough-and-tumble pilot/driver Declan mac Coul and quote-spewing Phineas Bartlett. Yes, the man named Bartlett is full of quotes.The adventure begins when the Wildes learn that Grandpa Wilde has gone missing. All they have to go on is an idol of a frog and a picture of Grandpa smiling as he stands before the open maw of a giant frog with shark-like teeth. The family's reaction to this news is "Grandpa was missing again. Cool!"The adventure takes off from there and involves peculiar frogs, a cliché South American dictator, dark matter, and more impossibly amazing inventions than you can shake a nanobot at. The book is heavy on exposition at times, but the chapters are short and it moves along at a fast clip.The sheer perfection of the main characters means that they are rarely in any believable danger, so after a few cliffhanger chapter endings that turn out all right, a lot of the suspense is leeched from the story. That's okay, though. The outcome is never in doubt, but the fun is seeing what mental discipline, physical feat, or novel technology the Wildes will use to save the day.Doc Wilde is primarily for young adults, but it could also work for adults who enjoy over-the-top pulp adventure. There is nice artwork throughout by Gary Chaloner, but reading on the Kindle Paperwhite, I found the artwork to be quite tiny. After zooming in on it a couple of times, I mostly ignored it for the rest of the book.

  • Alan
    2018-11-24 01:05

    In the interest of full disclosure I was one of this project's Kickstarter contributors.Some might say Byrd went into pastiche mode with this young reader's book, but I truly do think the goal was to homage Doc Savage and his ilk. If you would like a sound bite description of the setting it would be this:Clark Savage Jr., aka Doc Savage, married his cousin Pat, had a son, their son married and their son and two grandchildren have adventures and fight evil along the way. In this case sub the name Wilde for Savage and you have the premise in a nutshell. Byrd adds two bickering sidekicks, and a story that begins at the elder Savage's NYC headquarters in the Empire State Building and ends in the fictional country of Hidalgo (both homages/references to the first Man of Bronze tale).If my daughter was younger I would have tried this tale out on her. She was/is a big Tintin fan, and liked the original Johnny Quest episodes much more than the "new" one that were made when she was a kid. It would be interesting to see if there is a young reader's market for this. Keep in mind she might not have been the ideal test subject because she also liked Star Wars and Disney's Atlantis as a young girl.Otherwise, the market for this might be older readers, such as myself, who retain a fondness for the pulps, the over the top adventures, and the various homages and references sprinkled throughout.