Book Review: Highlander: The Element of Fire by Jason Henderson (1995)

I bought this paperback (oh, the horror, the horror!) from the local library for a quarter. Heather and I, although we’re upper middle class, we’re the evil upper middle class who buy books second hand so the poor starving artists don’t receive their pittances and from the library for less than the books are worth as sort of another tax break for us. Muhahaha!

So what you’ve got here, basically, is a book about immortals that was published ten years ago based on a movie that came out twenty years ago. Wrap your heads around that. Man, where was I ten years ago? Working as an assistant editor at a magazine and moonlighting as a produce clerk, which is where I was when I got the call that my father died. Man, that’s a heavy thing to come up from a cheap little multimedia tie-in book like this, but wow, has it been ten years since that syndicated television show aired? Yessir.

This book, which might have been the first in the series, features the characters from the movie and the series and they run about, lopping off other immortals’ heads, which really means that the immortals are only mostly immortal, but if you don’t know the mythology of the bit before you pick up the book, you probably wouldn’t pick it up in the first place, even for a quarter. But I digress….don’t I?

Unlike the first movie and most of the episodes of the television series I saw, this book takes place entirely in the past, with an old immortal who thinks he’s a god and who doesn’t understand the rules of the Game, which to be honest I’m not entirely sure of, either. But he vows revenge on Duncan and Connor Macleod. 220 pages later, it doesn’t work so well.

Sorry to ruin it, but the Highlander lives on to fight in other books in the line. It’s not a bad junk read, a bit slow in spots, and I sometimes get the sense that the author has done just enough historical research to mention but not really give much sense of place. But the flaws with the book–that it’s written with a definite sense of being adapted from television and lacking in proper setting and mood–come with the genre.

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