In his X-Files-flavored novel Underland, ex-rock-musician Mick Farren boldly combines such pulp and tabloid favorites as vampires, the Hollow Earth, Cthulhu, UFOs, conspiracy theories, a modern-day Nazi colony, a serpent cult, and a prehuman race. Unfortunately, the novel turns out to be less than the sum of its parts, perhaps because it's the concluding volume of a series (the Renquist Quartet). Though Underland opens with a tense situation, the imminent torture of captured vampire leader Victor Renquist, the narrative turns immediately to backstory. Numerous bland stretches of flashback and description slow the pace so much that the Hollow Earth implied in the title goes unmentioned until nearly page 140. Series newcomers should be sure to start with the first volume, The Time of Feasting. |
Source: Cynthia Ward, Amazon.com.