cover image The Chamber of Ten

The Chamber of Ten

Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, Del Rey Spectra, $7.99 paper (369p) ISBN 9780553386561

Golden and Lebbon pair up once again for the clumsy third "Hidden Cities" installment (after 2009's The Map of Moments), this time with the sinking city of Venice as the setting. Geena Hodge, a hotshot archaeologist, has traveled abroad with her boyfriend, semi-telepath Nico, and a BBC documentary film crew to find and document the city's ancient architecture before it disappears forever. The discovery of a hidden door inside the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana quickly leads to the uncovering of the Chamber of Ten, a possible meeting place for the Council of Ten, an organization that secretly gained control of Venice in the mid-15th century. What follows is a somewhat rambling account of Hodge's foray into the covert—and magical—history of one of Italy's most renowned cities. Chock-full of tortured prose ("his voice [was] level, though his eyes were full of questions and mystery") and flat characters, this book will appeal to few other than hardcore fans of the series. (Aug.)