Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dr Nikola's Experiment (1899) by Guy Boothby

In hindsight my review of the previous Dr Nikola novel A Lust For Hate might have been a bit harsh as it establishes Nikola's manservant Ah Sing.  It's a fine adventure story with plenty of excitement. And it offers a different view of Nikola.

However Dr Nikola's Experiment is a full Doctor Nikola novel and is a follow up to the novel Doctor Nikola, in that novel Dr Nikola infiltrated a Chinese Society to steal their secrets and ends up being hunted by their enforcer with one ear, Quong Ma.

In this story, Nikola hires a down on his luck Doctor Ingelby to assist in an experiment.  It appears that not only did Nikola steal the anaesthetic he used in A Lust for Hate but a process for  reversing aging.  Nikola is using the process to experiment on a very aged Don Miguel de Morano.  The experiment is successful physically but what is the mental cost? 

Making things harder is the fact that Quong Ma has finally caught up with Doctor Nikola and causing problems at Allerdyne Castle including killing Ah Sing and releasing Nikola's menagerie of biological freaks (last seen in A Bid for Fortune - the first novel)

It's interesting that in the first two novels Nikola was ultimately successful in his quests, these last two novels have had Nikola thwarted in his plans.  This novel finally reveals Nikola's long game - immortality for himself.

I can't wait to see what Farewell Nikola, the final Nikola novel by Guy Boothby brings us. (After that I'll be reviewing Doc Savage The Doom Dynasty a comic book miniseries pitting Doc Savage against Dr Nikola and The Soldier Legacy's Strange Tales which I've mentioned earlier).

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