Brian Lumley, Author . Tor $25.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-312-87923-5

This new bottle can't disguise the aging wine of Lumley's Necroscope series or the increasingly stale bouquet of its last few installments. Set in a world where the vampire villains are resurrected as regularly as the cinematic Frankenstein's monster, and where the psychic hero is forever channeling the thoughts of dead characters from previous episodes, this expansive 13th novel is distinguished mostly by its sense of déjà vu. The story picks up right after events in Necroscope: Defilers (2000) with the revelation that vampires Nephran Malinari, the Lady Vavara and Lord Szwart are still at large, despite the efforts of Ben Trask's E-Branch operatives to wipe them out in Greece. The ESPionage agents chase the elusive vampires through Turkey, trying to prevent them from seeding the world with spores of virulent vampire fungi. Jake Cutter, neophyte Necroscope (someone who can converse with the dead), remains mostly on the periphery, still wrestling with a personal vampire taint that makes him resemble more and more the similarly infected first Necroscope, Harry Keogh. Once again troubles at Russia's interdimensional Perchorsk Gate, which opens to the vampire universe, add to the mess. Lumley still excels at depicting heroes larger than life and horrors worse than death, but his rehash of earlier intrigues and plot twists bogs the tale down. The exciting pyrotechnic finale appears to bring resolution to some long-running subplots, but also calls attention to how often this novel coasts when it could explode. (June 5)

Reviewed on: 04/23/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 560 pages - 978-0-8125-7019-9
Paperback - 562 pages - 978-0-340-79248-3
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4299-1328-7
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