When a vicious, ancient evil is loosed upon the Earth, a motley crew must band together to halt its murderous rampage and return it to its prison.
Ten years ago, Nathan Brookes led a group of teenagers on a hike through Sutton Park in the Midlands, and four of them disappeared. One girl, Olivia Crawford, turned up the next day, confused and in shock. Nathan has blamed himself for the incident ever since, and when mummified remains are found in a peat bog near the site, old wounds are reopened. Osteoarchaeologist Dr. Tara Doumani is called upon to examine the mummy, dubbed the Rowton Man, and he’s thousands of years old, but shockingly, one of his legs seems to belong to one of the boys who disappeared. Olivia, in desperation, kidnaps Tara to convince her to rebury the Rowton Man, and soon Nathan, Tara, and his old flame Sue Vickers are thrown together. An evil being called the afaugh (who can take over people’s bodies) has been released by the mummy’s exhumation, and it’s very, very hungry. Olivia reveals that the group was taken by a man called Bark Foot to the in-between world called Un, and Nathan realizes he must travel to Un and stop the events set in motion 10 years ago. Un, moored in the Bronze Age, is a brutal world shaped by imagination and mood and steeped in myth and legend. Nathan must return the afaugh to its prison, even if he dies trying. Although Nathan seems to be the focus at first, it’s Catharine “Scattie” Powell, who has made her own way in Un, who gives the story its heart and soul. The afaugh’s rampage through the modern world is genuinely scary, and the race to stop it will keep readers enthralled. Brogden’s U.S. debut is a wonderfully odd mix of dark Bronze Age fantasy and modern-day thriller, and it works.
An exciting and bloody read with teeth.