Necroscope: Defliers

Brian Lumley, Author Tor Books $25.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-312-87261-8
The 12th novel in Lumley's Necroscope series shows the hitherto vigorous vampire epic getting long in the tooth. Though it features the usual vast and vivid cast of psychic sleuths and earthly undead monsters, it is noticeably stingy with the plot twists and full-throttle action that have made the saga a formidable fusion of espionage and supernatural horror. The trio of other-dimensional Wamphyri who took refuge on Earth in Necroscope: Invaders are still on the loose at the novel's start, and Ben Trask's indefatigable E- (short for ESP) Branch is determined to prevent them from spreading the infectious vampire fungi. To kill time while they follow clues that lead them to the vampire stronghold in a convent on the Greek island of Krassos, Ben and his operatives converse in tedious exchanges that seem not so much dialogue as lectures and briefings for the reader's benefit. Similarly, the vampire master Nephran Malinari and the Lady Vavara snipe incessantly at one another in melodramatic Dark Shadows swatches. The problem is most acute in nominal hero Jake Cutter, who spends most of the tale sidetracked on a personal vendetta against a mafia kingpin, sparring mentally with the absorbed consciousness of the vampire Korath, who whispers nonstop provocations in his ear as part of their Faustian pact. The three cliffhanger finales in the final pages echo climaxes of previous novels, and seem little more than deliberate overcompensation for the story's surprising stasis. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-312-70230-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 640 pages - 978-0-8125-6673-4
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4299-1327-0
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