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Necroscope Paperback – June 10, 2008
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“Lumley excels at depicting heroes larger than life and horrors worse than death.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Since reading Lumley's "Necroscope" series, I know that vampires really do exist!” ―H. R. Giger
“Lumley has accomplished the impossible by creating a book that will captivate fans of science fiction, horror, and espionage alike.” ―Romantic Times BOOKReviews on Necroscope: The Touch
“Lumley combines horror and alien-invasion themes uncommonly deftly.” ―Booklist
“A vampire adventure for the Tom Clancy set.” ―Fangoria on Necroscope: Avengers
“Necroscope fans will find themselves reading as fast as Lumley can type.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Necroscope: Invaders
About the Author
Brian Lumley is the internationally-known creator of Necroscope and the Necroscope series, including Necroscope: The Touch. He has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and has won the British Fantasy Award. His other works include the Titus Crow and Primal Lands series and the novel Khai of Khem. He lives in England.
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Necroscope is the book that started a horror series franchise before horror series were considered the norm. Lumley crafts a tale that was revolutionary for its time. Shades of Lovecraft permeate through the story as we get to know the protagonist, Harry Keough and antagonist, Boris Dragosani. Harry is a teenager in Great Britain who is learning to use his newfound ability, talking to the dead, and we get to watch the young necroscope learn and grow through the first two-thirds of the book. At the same time, we're introduced to Dragosani, a Romainian who works for the secret Soviet ESP agency. Boris is a necromancer and has the ability to extract secrets from the dead through gruesome mutilations. He also returns to his homeland in Wallachia every year to talk to the mysterious corpse buried in the mountains that gave him his unique ability. The story unfolds as we watch the two learn to harness their abilities and leads towards their eventual showdown.
The setting is the 1970s and it's in the middle of the Cold War and for anyone that grew up during this time, it adds an extra dose of suspicious unease throughout the story. Lumley does a wonderful job setting up the characters in a way that demands you to keep turning the pages. There are so many interesting ideas explored in Necroscope that only scratch the surface. I only hope that the rest of the books in the series delves into each and every one of them much, much further.
With that in mind, I will get this out right away. This book is NOT about vampires. Yes, it features the vampire legend and twists it in a way that is novel. However, that is merely the background of the novel. The story concerns itself with two characters both with some psychic aptitude. You have Harry Keogh, someone who can talk to the dead, a necrosope. And you have Boris Dragosani, someone who rips out secrets from the dead, aka a necromancer. The entire story revolves around these two characters, their discovery and harnessing of these powers and their eventual confrontation. Vampires… or rather a vampire plays a not-too-minor role in manipulating Boris, but that’s about it. As I said above, I expected something different. I expected vampires, vampire society, etc, to take the center stage. I guess I should have read more of what the book was about, but part of my disappointment was the fact that vampires and vampire society don’t make a bigger splash in the novel.
First, there are some good things about the story. The writing isn’t too bad and fairly intriguing. I wanted to keep turning pages to see what was going to happen. The ending, surprisingly works very well. That is one thing that I really enjoyed. Lumley managed to craft an ending that is extremely enjoyable, satisfying while leaving room for more sequels.
Despite this, there is much I didn’t like. First, Lumley goes off on tangents when it comes to describing his characters. Every now and then you have him sidetracking in order to give you this extremely detailed summary of a certain event or situation in the character’s past. Half the time, there is really no point to it; it’s just there in case you were curious why Dragosani never had sex yet. It does contribute to the story in any way. That is perhaps the biggest annoyance I have with Lumley. He goes off on tangents and it only serves to interrupt the story. These tangents don’t even really give anything to the story. He also goes in way more detail than I would ever care to know. This goes double when Lumley describes the sexual proclivities of certain characters in Dragosani’s past. It really just ends up being disgusting with nothing actually enhancing the story itself.
Like I said, the story was fairly enjoyable but overall, I was fairly disappointed and frustrated with certain habits the author has. While the story was somewhat interesting, I don’t see myself continuing on to read the sequels.
Read through it already. Decent little side-trip into Lumley's Necroverse with some interesting shorts starring his best character: Harry Keogh. It does make mention of some members of the teeming dead "moving on" from their place in the Great Majority, which is something that threw me for a loop - I've read the 5 Necroscope novels, the Bloodbrothers books, the Lost Years (I'm in the middle of the Jake Cutter trilogy), and I honestly do not recall there EVER being anything in any of them that says the dead can ever move on into...something more, EXCEPT for Harry himself.
For Lumley to bring this in this late in the game (albeit in a story that is set in the past) is problematic. If it is so, it alters everything for the dead, motivation, purpose, desire, etc, and it all would reflect heavily on their "actions" on Harry's behalf as well as on their own. Here's hoping that there is something in the Cutter trilogy (or in the "The Touch" or "Other Weird Heroes") that resolves this. Over the years, Lumley has built an incredible alternate reality with what is simply the best vampire fiction ever written, I'd hate to see it tarnished by wandering off poorly towards the end.