Good grief, this is good stuff. I’ve read The Somnambulist and The Domino Men and remember thinking that this is how London dark fantasy should be done. Well, this is how gothic SF horror should be done. Toby is a physically diminutive man set on a near impossible collision course with a very dangerous foe and the poor guy’s wife just left him, seemingly out of nowhere. He’s psychologically beaten down but he’s also a man with not much to lose. Sometimes those are the most dangerous people. It’s really a race against time, because the bicentenary celebration of one of Cannonbridge’s most famous works is coming up, and Toby suspects that it will usher in something terrible, and not of this world. The author seamlessly moves between the 1800s and the near future, and invokes a dark, dangerous, decadent London where the literati reigns and new ideas and enlightenment are feverishly sought. Add a very creepy killer for hire to the mix (in hot pursuit of Toby), along with a mysterious island, and even a nod to Jack the Ripper, and you’ve got a winner. This is a delight for literature lovers and SF fans alike, and its major theme is a timely one. I’m not going to give that away, because I think it would ruin it, but suffice it to say that it’s nicely done, and I’m all for social commentary when you give it an ingenious, and very creepy, twist, as Barnes does here. He writes beautifully, and doesn’t tie up everything with a neat bow at the end. Nope, he doesn’t let you off that easy. Toby is a hero to root for, with everyman appeal, and if you haven’t discovered the awesome that is Jonathan Barnes, here’s a perfect place to start.
Powered by WPtouch Mobile Suite for WordPress