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Woman Between the Worlds Paperback – January 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440503272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440503279
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,366,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Having honed his skills writing short stories, MacIntyre debuts as a novelist with a compelling and imaginative tale that blurs the boundaries of SF, fantasy and horror. It is late 1898 in London when a nameless tattoo artist meets his most unusual client, an invisible woman seeking a full-body tattoo. Vanessa Steele is from "an unseen dimension" and wants to live on earth. The narrator has barely begun his work when invisible thugs arrive to murder him and to drag Vanessa, who they say is an escaped criminal, back to their own world to deliver her to "the Dreadful Eye," their ruler. A narrow escape (the first in a book-long chase through both dimensions) and Vanessa's penchant for devouring human flesh persuade the narrator that he's landed a dangerous commission, yet he becomes increasingly fond of his now semi-visible client. Vanessa, who hopes to free her world from the Dreadful Eye, gains allies in the narrator and in Edward Alexander Crowley, a student of the "arcane and other-worldly" who doesn't have the firmest grip on reality but can spot Vanessa's invisible enemies. Their path toward life-or-death confrontation is littered with horrors and ends with a twist.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Victorian London is the setting for an unforgettable encounter between a tattoo artist and an invisible woman from another dimension. MacIntyre's first novel pays tribute to one of the most imaginative and eccentric periods of English history as theosophists and mad scientists confront Lovecraft horrors in a tongue-in-cheek romp across the early years of fantastic fiction. Wildly comic, darkly horrific, and surprisingly bittersweet, this quirky novel has a place in most sf and fantasy collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Walter Five VINE VOICE on July 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is based upon a wonderful premise, but is ultimately spoiled by the author's inaccurate characterizations.

While I agree that it *is* tempting to place historical characters in fictional setting, the author needs to do more homework on the characters themselves, particularly the timelines of their lives in the context of the stories therein.

This pertains particularly to the members of the Order of the Golden Dawn who appear as characters in this book, Crowley in particular. While I enjoyed the author's characterization of Aleister Crowley in this novel, the Crowley he describes is one at least a decade older than the 1898-1899 Victorian setting of the novel, and some of the incidents, mottos and names recounted by the Crowley character didn't take place for 15-20 years after the novel's setting. As a student of Magick for more than a quarter-century, I must take exception with these incongruities, for they ultimately ruined for me the otherwise exquisite storytelling experience presented by Mr. McIntyre herein.

Mr. Crowley has been much better fictionalized elsewhere (not least by some few of his biographers, unfortunately). The other members of the Golden Dawn do not figure as heavily in the book's plot, and are less characterized, and therefore are not as obviously temporally incongruent, but they too seem to have temporal character inconsistancies. Too bad, they flaw what would have otherwise have been one of the best Historical Fiction/Horror/Fantasy novels I've read since Mark Frost's "The List of Seven".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on May 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is London in the late 1800's when an invisible woman enters the tattoo parlor of the main character (who for some reason or another remains nameless).

This invisible woman calls herself Vanessa, and what she wants is a full body tattoo so that her woman form can be made visible. But is she really what she seems?

Vanessa is really a compassionate, shape shifting alien who has managed to get through a porthole in time and jump from her planet to planet earth. Her planet has been taken over by one who calls himself The DREADFUL EYE and now she is a wanted alien. Taking on the form of a human woman on Earth she wants the tattoo artist to render her form visible to human eyes so that she becomes almost invisible to alien eyes.

But tattooing Vanessa is not going to be an easy task, not while there is continuous battle to be done with the groups of invisible men who arrive on earth to bring her back.

Despite his intentions the main character finds himself falling in love while on the run with the alien woman he tattoos, and when she is captured he finds his way to her planet to get her back, and to do battle with The Dreadful Eye who has his sights on conquering planet Earth next.

With the help of Aleister Crowley, Sir William Crookes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats and others, the main character just might succeed. Set against the a backdrop of Victorian England and an alien planet, it's a fight to the finish for Vanessa...and for Earth.

I really enjoyed this book, it is definitely Science Fiction but the author has a lot of real places woven into the story, places in London England. MacIntyre's writing is smooth and perhaps the biggest surprise was that this book is pretty funny in some places. It's suspense and Sci-Fi mixed with a good dose of bitingly funny English humor. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. C JUMEL on November 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Take the above three, mix in Victoriana and H.P. Lovecraft and you have this book. At times a shaggy tentacle story, at times a nineteenth century Who's Who, this tale is uneven but fun. Unlike your standard H.P. Lovecraft hero, our tattooist does not go mad no matter how often he is assaulted by undead horrors, shapeless invisible ghouls, or partial bodily possession (oh man that premise is taken to its obvious conclusion. I won't forget THAT mental image any time soon).
The alien Vanessa loves Earth but wants to save her home planet, an unwholesome grey place filled with large easily rolled stone spheres (and yes, one gets used just as one would hope it gets used. Most gratifying!)
Unexplained is how one DOES an opaque tattoo (all the ones I have seen are transparent); but what the hey. When you have invisible aliens staulking London and an immortal soul sucker who can animate anything that has once lived why make a fuss? You don't read this for the tattoo instructions anyway.
An added spice is lent when it is revealed Vanessa only eats freshly killed raw meat; (Vegetarians, pass on this one.)
A bit long and wordy but it IS a Victorian pastiche so that's what one gets; sumptuous descriptions of interiors, eccentric characters, and weird secret societies are what fill it up. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on May 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a science fiction story set in Victoria England. It involves evil, another dimension, and a love story. A tale of bravery and tragedy, incredibly original and true to the period. ****Warning Spoiler **** The ending is one of the few tragic ones in science fiction.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary A. Dorman on May 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book begins diary style by our unknown tatooist author. It quickly goes beyond H-G-Wells sci fi into another dimension.
If you like the archaically exotic, this will appeal to you.
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