Mystic arts! Dark forces! Despite the occasional “greased lightning” clinker, fans will find this classy stuff.



Hardcover reprint of Lumley’s early-’80s mass-market paperback, a youthful and super-purple blast of Egyptology, clearly aimed at fans who’ve collected cloth editions of his 13-volume Necroscope vampire epic.

Sheathed in a scarlet shift, her right breast exposed, dark-eyed, raven-haired Ashtarta, sovereign Candace of Kush, is to marry General Khai Ibizin formerly of Khem (to be known as Egypt in coming times). She looks into the magic pool of Yuh-Shesh, hoping to foresee the results of her army’s battle against Kush’s ages-old enemy Khem, ruled by pyramid-building Pharaoh Khasathut. Instead, she sees Khai in some strange place where great birds bear humans aloft in their bellies without eating them, where carts without oxen or horses speed with people in strange and wondrous garb, where giant ships without sails cross the seas. It turns out, when Khai is returned to Ashtarta half-dead, that Pharaoh’s wizards have sent his ka into the future; unless it returns, his body will die. Khai’s old friend General Manek Thotak, who desires Ashtarta for himself, surrenders his ka to be sent by Ashtarta’s wizards into the future to bring back Khai. The wizards bury Ashtarta’s funerary mask with a ring each from Khai and Manek. Manek is supposed to dig up the mask and rings, show them to Khai, and spirit him back to his homeland. In the future, Khai awakes in London as Paul Arnott, whose fellow Egyptologist Wilfred Sommers shows him the funerary mask of Sh’tarra. Khai does return to Kush, with knowledge of future weaponry he puts to use.

Mystic arts! Dark forces! Despite the occasional “greased lightning” clinker, fans will find this classy stuff.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-765-31047-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

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A financier's Ponzi scheme unravels to disastrous effect, revealing the unexpected connections among a cast of disparate characters.

How did Vincent Smith fall overboard from a container ship near the coast of Mauritania, fathoms away from her former life as Jonathan Alkaitis' pretend trophy wife? In this long-anticipated follow-up to Station Eleven (2014), Mandel uses Vincent's disappearance to pick through the wreckage of Alkaitis' fraudulent investment scheme, which ripples through hundreds of lives. There's Paul, Vincent's half brother, a composer and addict in recovery; Olivia, an octogenarian painter who invested her retirement savings in Alkaitis' funds; Leon, a former consultant for a shipping company; and a chorus of office workers who enabled Alkaitis and are terrified of facing the consequences. Slowly, Mandel reveals how her characters struggle to align their stations in life with their visions for what they could be. For Vincent, the promise of transformation comes when she's offered a stint with Alkaitis in "the kingdom of money." Here, the rules of reality are different and time expands, allowing her to pursue video art others find pointless. For Alkaitis, reality itself is too much to bear. In his jail cell, he is confronted by the ghosts of his victims and escapes into "the counterlife," a soothing alternate reality in which he avoided punishment. It's in these dreamy sections that Mandel's ideas about guilt and responsibility, wealth and comfort, the real and the imagined, begin to cohere. At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical. How far will Alkaitis go to deny responsibility for his actions? And how quickly will his wealth corrupt the ambitions of those in proximity to it? In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure.

A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-52114-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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