The Doctor and the Kid by Mike Resnick
The time is 1882. With the Gunfight at the O. K. Corral and the battle with the thing that used to be Johnny Ringo behind him (see The Buntline Special), the consumptive Doc Holliday makes his way to Deadwood, Colorado, with Kate Elder, where he plans to spend the rest of his brief life, finally moving into the luxurious facility that specializes in his disease.
But one night he gets a little too drunk - hardly a novelty for him - and loses everything he has at the gaming table. He realizes that he needs to replenish his bankroll, and quickly, so that he can live out his days in comfort under medical care. He considers his options and hits upon the one most likely to produce income in a hurry: he’ll use his skill as a shootist and turn bounty hunter.
The biggest reward is for the death of the young, twenty-year-old desperado known as Billy the Kid. It’s clear from the odds the Kid has faced and beaten, his miraculous escape from prison, and his friendship with the Indian tribes of New Mexico that he is protected by some powerful magic. Doc enlists the aid of both magic (Geronimo) and science (Thomas Edison), and goes out after his quarry. He will hunt the Kid down, and either kill him and claim the reward or die in the process and at least end his own suffering.
But as he is soon to find out, nothing is as easy as it looks.
After reading The Buntline Special I was very eager to pick up the second book of Mike Resnick’s Weird West Tales: The Doctor and the Kid. Though there was a strong well directed ending in the first book in the final paragraph there was a gathering between Geronimo and Hook Nose and I had a certain expectation for the second book that there would be a lot of problems for Edison and Buntline to face because Geronimo and Hook Nose teamed up. But actually The Doctor and the Kid does not continue in this way. The story picks up a year after the events at the O.K. Corral. The main character of the story is again Doc Holliday, but he has decided to settle down in Colorado with Kate Elder. Due to his favour of certain spirits he makes a huge mistake and now everything is going sour for him. And he turns more to his job on the side, besides being a dentist. Even though there was no picking up of the storyline directly after the events of the gathering of Geronimo and Hook Nose, Mike Resnick keep true to the Wild Weird West created in the first book and again provided with a very rich alternate history western meets steampunk mix.
I already got a good description of Doc Holliday in the first book but again you see him living up to his persona as being very nonchalant about certain expects and lying an emphasis on the smaller aspects of life. But now, with his friend Johnny Ringo permanently dead, he has moved to Colorado to count down his remaining days. Just as Doc Holliday thought that he was done with the medicine men he is still being stalked by prairie dogs, hawks and owls that turn into braves. And somehow manages to get himself into a deeper problem than ever… Losing all his and Kate’s saving’s he can only go for one last resort. In this latter part Billy the Kid plays an important part. Billy the Kid is just how I know him from several movies, being very cocky and a mister know-it-all. The first confrontation between Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid left me with a broad grin on my face. Doc Holliday quickly pulling the trigger... and when you least expect it Mike Resnick adds a nice twist in the storyline with the medicine men. Now Doc Holliday has to consult with Edison and Buntline to find a way to circumvent this. In this second book Edison and Buntline really take a seat in the back and you hardly see their point of views, too bad for me because I really liked how they were presented in the first book with their labs and there gadgets. However the steampunk influence is not to be missed as Buntline and Edison show more than once the solutions they came up with to combat, think of devices that causes implosions, deconstructions and nitro-glycerine powered rounds for Gatling guns.
There was for me a quite noticeable character introduced some chapters in that caused the character of Doc Holliday to change. Charlotte Branson. From the start you see that Doc Holliday is somewhat attracted to her, and in the end he goes in gun blazing, to exact revenge for her. Showing that he is a man of his word and has a certain compassionate side.
For the plotline, there was a steady pace building up the excitement. Somewhere near the end Doc Holliday pulls of a stunt and now he does not need to kill Billy the Kid anymore. I was pleased though that following this event there was nice twist that urged Doc Holliday to continue. Else all the commotion around Billy the Kid would not have paid off. Nearing the ending of the book the story really goes in to rapid, following up shoot out on shoot out, showing a great display of the gadgets that were designed by Edison and Buntline, force fields, electric guns you name it! But also very to my pleasure was the climactic battle between two medicine men that, with the added drawing on the adjacent page really made my day. I got a creative picture forming in my own mind with the medicine men throwing lightning and fire and summoned animals. Really cool, I do hope to see these kind of battle recurring in the books to come.
The Doctor and the Kid continues the alternate USA created in The Buntline Special very neatly. The alternate side of the Weird West Tales was more or less done in the first book but there are more characters introduced in the book, again showing a great feat of researching on the historic characters. Next to this the book is full of action, witty dialogue and humorous moments. With a reference placed in an earlier chapter saying that it is far from over for Doc Holliday, and with again a closed story. The third book The Doctor and the Roughrider can pick up anywhere, but it is definitely on my to read list.
This The Doctor and the Kid book review was written by Jasper de Joode
All reviews for: A Weird West Tale
The Buntline Special
A Weird West Tale #1
The Doctor and the Kid
A Weird West Tale #2
The Doctor and the Roughrider
A Weird West Tale #3
Have you read The Doctor and the Kid?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Doctor and the Kid reader reviews
8.8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Mortal Engines Quartet
Long before the days of Mortal Engines, London is poised on the brink of apocalypse. Huge armoured fortresses are advancing across the wastelands - a new and terrifying kin...
Gareth L Powell
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed ‘Ack-Ack Macaque’. The troubl...
Captain Nemo: The Fantastic Adventures of a Dark Genius
Kevin J Anderson
The young Verne and his best friend Andre Nemo stow away on a ship bound for the high seas, but Jules' father catches Jules and forces him to come home in total disgrac...
In Dark Service
Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter ... on those occasions...
Art and his family are invited on a fantastic free holiday to the exotic Asteroid Belt, in a remote part of space near Mars. Taking the train, they arrive to discover that ...
A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Evil is most assuredly afoot - and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade... and a librarian. These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s Englan...
Grandville Mon Amour
The beefy badger DI Archie LeBrock is languishing in self-pity, driven to drink (as every good copper should be) by the guilt of Sarah’s murder. When his partner, Rod...
The Steampunk Adventurer's Guide
Bringing together an action-filled story full of automatons, airships and a dastardly plot to take over the world and instructions on how to make your own gadgets, The Stea...
A Tale of Langdon St. Ives
James P Blaylock
It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives – brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer – is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a f...
The year is 1914 and Europe, armed with futuristic machines and biotechnology, is on the precipice of war. Prince Aleksandar is fleeing for his life, having discovered that...
The Falling Machine
Andrew P Mayer
In 1880 women aren’t allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime… But twenty-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a h...
Tales of the Ketty Jay
Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay, leader of a small and highly dysfunctional band of layabouts. An inveterate womaniser and rogue, he and his gang make a living on the ...
As the serialisation beings we meet 12-year-old schoolboy Alex who, just before Christmas, receives an old toy robot from his globe-trotting grandfather. It doesn't see...
Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
With Phoenix Rising, Phillipa Ballantine and Tee Morris have created a great addition to the growing steampunk genre and have given a new take on fighting crime. For me, th...
It was the last great science hero fight, but the energy blast ripped a hole in reality, and birthed the Empire State – a young, twisted parallel prohibition-era New ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
Journey to the Black City
On an Earth that is very much like our own, the civilizations of ancient man have been crushed; the giant glaciers that cover the northern part of the globe continue, even now...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim--that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will--but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, c...
Dead Men Naked
After the sudden death of his best friend Neil, involving a 6-foot giant crow and quite some Tequila, Lou’s life takes an unexpected turn towards the impossible. As L...
Age of Assassins
Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with ...
A Conjuring of Light
The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empi...
Sebastien de Castell
Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King's dream: Aline is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...