Necroscope III: The Source by Brian Lumley
Harry Keogh is back and now he’s got a body again. How that came about is a sad tale that you need to read about in Necroscope II: Vamphyri!. You’d think that all would be well now — Harry could get back with his wife and son and maybe life could somewhat normalize, though Harry, of course, still hears from the dead and can travel through time and space on the Mobius Continuum, so maybe Harry is never going to be normal or even really desire a normal sort of life….
… but anyway, even if he did, he can’t, because his wife and son have disappeared and he can’t find them anywhere. He’s been looking for eight years and knows that they’re not in the world and they’re not dead. So, where are they? The answer to this, as Harry will find out, has to do with a secret Russian military base. Well, it’s supposed to be secret, but the British know about it and have sent their agent Jazz Simmons to investigate. Something really weird is going on there and — surprise! — it involves Vampires (the Vamphyri, or Wamphyri). The Russians have accidentally discovered, and are hiding, the “source” world of the Vampires. Could Harry’s family be in that world? He’s going to find out. Meanwhile, the Vampires are planning an invasion of the human world and they are being unwittingly assisted by Russian scientists.
This third installment of Brian Lumley’s NECROSCOPE series brings a twist to the story. This is the first time we’ve heard of a source world where Vampires lord over the other unfortunate denizens of that surreal place. Some readers may find this too far out, but I enjoyed the change of scenery. I didn’t like any of the new characters, though, and have a hard time liking anyone but Harry and maybe the Russian woman named Zek, and I don’t like them that much. This is not the series for readers who need to love the characters.
It’s also not the series for readers who need the author to get to the point. Excessively long descriptive passages and info-dumps litter the novel, making it much longer than it needs to be. This has been an issue all along, but it’s becoming more obvious with each novel that there’s not nearly as much plot as there should be for the book’s length and Lumley spends way too much time telling us about people, places, and events that don’t much matter and aren’t very interesting. Just too much description and backstory. Each novel could easily be reduced by half.
I’m listening to Macmillan Audio’s new audiobook editions narrated by James Langton. He’s perfectly cast and does a wonderful job. I don’t know if they have plans to produce the rest of the NECROSCOPE novels. The next one is Necroscope IV: Deadspeak. If it comes out in audio format, I’ll read it.
One last thing: These covers are awful!