The Lazarus Gate: A Penny Dreadful Review
There is much to be said for the memoir-style narrative. It was a popular device in Victorian fiction. Such books at The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, even the Sherlock Holmes stories all use it. Therefore, it is a natural choice for a Steampunk author to select as the narrative mode for their tale. The Lazarus Gate, by Mark Latham, is one such book.
Captain John Hardwick was a prisoner of war in Burma. Traumatized, he returns home to London intending to have nothing more to do with duty, Queen, and country. Then, he is recruited by the secretive Order of Apollo Lycea. He must investigate a series of bombings where the culprits vanish into thin air. The explanation, once provided, involves psychic phenomena, alternate universes, a potential invasion, and certain family members thought long dead…
I loved the brilliant way in which Mark Latham captures the feel of a nineteenth century memoir. Captain John Hardwick’s language will seem incredibly familiar to anyone who has read H. G. Wells, or even Lovecraft. Indeed, the horrors facing the Othersiders of the alternate universe are singularly Lovecraftian.
The Lazarus Gate is not to be missed. I give it five gears out of five.
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather