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Twelfth doorstop volume in Lumley’s already swollen vampire series (Necroscope: Invaders, 1999, etc.), with the next installment (Necroscope: Avengers) announced.

Here is a series hopelessly in need of a Necropedia: Footsteps of the Dead encyclical to help keep all the Wamphyri and their factotums straight amid the parallel universes of bloodsucker invaders and the varied vampire hunters tracking them down. The principals, the now dead but actually undead Necroscope Harry Keogh, and today’s Jake Cutter, are themselves composed of so many splintered figures, often evil, that even Lumley’s opening résumés, while reminding old readers of faded meteor arcs in the series’ overarching plotline, are of little help to the necronovice. Worse, Lumley’s densely dumbfounding résumés come in a spaghetti tangle of twisted grammar and seem typed under hypnosis or by autopilot on deep sedative. Yes, Harry Keogh’s dead, but he’s splintered into golden darts in other universes, although one dart has landed in the dreaming subconscious of Jake Cutter, a leading vampire killer with Britain’s supersecret E-Branch (ESP trackers of the dead). Jake has an added secret: Aside from having a revenant of Harry in him, he also houses a fragment of Korath Mindsthrall, an important vampire killed by Harry in Romania, whose knowledge allows Jake to travel through the Mobius Continuum and speak with the dead. Korath is infected by the powers of Malinari, Lord of the Wamphyri. And let’s not forget hideously beautiful Vavara, hag rival of Malinari, who eats wild honey and wolf hearts, and adds a sprinkle of lust to an otherwise entirely abstract though bloodthirsty thriller. Now, as if Wamphyri aren’t enough to deal with, Jake seeks the blood of Mafioso Luigi Castellano, whose mob killed his girlfriend and whose members are tied to an alien parallel dimension.

A fungoid fecund novel that will leave dreamers mucky with the mildews that eat upon the dead.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-87261-5
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2000


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