Necroscope II: Vamphyri! by Brian Lumley horror book reviewsNecroscope II: Vamphyri! by Brian Lumley

Necroscope II: Vamphyri! by Brian Lumley HORROR BOOK REVIEWSWarning: This review will contain spoilers for the previous book, Necroscope.

Suggestion: Try to ignore the horrible cover art.

Necroscope II: Vamphyri! Or (Wamphyri!) is the second book in Brian Lumley’s NECROSCOPE series. These horror novels follow the life and death of Harry Keogh, the Necroscope. As the only person who can talk to the dead, he is beloved by them and, since most people who have ever lived are currently dead, he has more friends than anyone else in the world… and these friends are willing to do favors for Harry. One thing they do is teach him, so Harry has become extensively educated by geniuses who have had a lot of time to think since they died. That’s how Harry learned to travel through time and space on the Mobius Continuum. When things get dangerous, or evil threatens to overcome the earth, the dead are also willing to be raised up as a temporary zombie army at Harry’s command. As you can see, Harry has a lot of power.

In Necroscope II: Vamphyri! (you’ll want to read the previous book, Necroscope, first), Harry must again contend with an ancient evil vampire named Thibor Ferenczy, otherwise known as “the thing in the ground.” Thibor has been there for over a thousand years, attempting to enthrall humans when he can lure them close enough to his resting place. This time he infects the fetus of a newlywed woman who is honeymooning in Rumania. She gives birth to a boy named Yulian who becomes increasingly like the vampire who, basically, fathered him, and even begins obeying his commands from afar. Yulian, though young, is a nasty piece of work and his activities provide much of the “horror” element of this story.Necroscope (16 Book Series) by Brian Lumley horror book reviews

Harry died in the previous book, but he has a connection with his own infant son and is able to manifest himself in such a way that he can communicate with the British agency he was working with before he died. He can only do this when the baby is sleeping, though. Thibor knows what Harry is doing and warns Yulian of the threat. This puts Harry Jr. in jeopardy.

Meanwhile the cold war between the English and Russian paranormal activity agencies continues to heat up. Those Russians are pretty nasty, too, or at least most of them are, but they’re willing to cooperate with the British to learn more about the Vamphyri. However, they can’t really be trusted.

Vamphyri! is exactly like its predecessor in level of horror, tone, and writing style. The prose is rich, with long passages describing gothic architecture (flying buttresses!) and toe-curling torture scenes. The book is long and sometimes feels cluttered with extensive backgrounds of minor characters who quickly end up as vampire fodder. Many readers will love this, as it contributes to the dark gothic feel of the novel, while others will become impatient to get back to the meat of the story. Some of the scenes, such as the one where Yulian is christened, are truly nightmarish.

There are 18 NECROSCOPE stories, so we’ve still got a long way to go. I’m hoping Macmillan Audio is going to produce all of them. I love James Langton’s performance. I’ll be reading the next book, The Source, right away.

Published in 1988. Not the end of life, Harry Keogh discovered–and not the end of his battle against the terrible evil of vampires. — In a secluded English village, Yulian Bodescu plots his takeover of the world. Imbued with a vampire’s powers before his birth, Bodescu rules men’s minds and bodies with supernatural ease. He is secretly creating an army of vampiric monsters, things that once were men but were now walking masses of destructive hunger! Harry Keogh, Necroscope, thought that the war with the vampires had ended with the destruction of Boris Dragasani–and of Harry’s body! But the man who talks to the dead lives on, more powerful than ever, able to transport himself instantly to any spot on the globe and to speak mind-to-mind with both the living and the dead. Are Harry’s new powers enough to defeat Yulian Bodescu and his legion of monsters–or will the vampire army overrun the living earth?


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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