cover image Prison of Sleep

Prison of Sleep

Tim Pratt. Angry Robot, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-85766-942-1

Pratt’s pulp sci-fi sequel to Doors of Sleep revisits the adventures of Zaxony “Zax” Delatree, who’s doomed to travel to a new dimension every time he falls asleep. The story opens with Zax’s recitation of his extensive backstory, which will helpfully orient new readers to this plot-driven saga. During his travels through diverse alternate universes, Zax has made enemies of both the mad scientist Lector and the Cult of the Worm, fanatics bent on destroying the multiverse. He briefly found a home with the Sleepers, other travelers like himself, before the Cult of the Worm destroyed their base and killed many of them. Now Zax plots to find the Cult’s homeworld and destroy it in revenge. Meanwhile, Zax’s lover, Ana, who he believes was murdered by the Cult, hides out with the surviving Sleepers. Ana’s backstory and efforts to find Zax unspool in parallel with Zax’s quest. Pratt balances odd landscapes and creatures (like the “shambling shirtless humanoid with... a head like a warty pumpkin”) with Zax and Ana’s “star-crossed and tempest-tossed” love to create a dense, rollicking pulp adventure, with good and evil crisply defined. Series fans will be glad to return. [em]Agent: Ginger Clark, Ginger Clark Literary. (Apr.) [/em]