Waking Nightmares by Christopher Golden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Much has been said about the epic scope and scale of these previous Shadow books, all of which start out very much close UF with very fun characters and all of which end with epic scale battles with armies of magic users and/or vampires and Vatican sorcerers keeping the barriers between magic and hellish dimensions closed.
Yeah, well, this one doesn't take us to sliced away towns sent to hells like the last book, and while it's not a full mobilization of Earth versus Hell, the difference here is striking ... and it's fun as hell. :)
Fornication and violence in a small town, with ghosts, wraiths, and chaotic baddies sneaking in from alternate dimensions. Maybe a goddess of chaos. And an epic fight. Peter comes in blasting sorcery and even the Earth goddess gets in a few licks, but as with all the other books... friends die. There are a LOT of Red Shirts in these.
Here's the final summation: in some ways, this is a more standard novel that keeps things close to the chest and the action is localized, if intense. No huge spaces to cover as in the other novels. In that respect, it's more like a standard UF with seriously overpowered players on both sides, including gods, demons, and magic learned over a thousand years in hell. :) IF you like the huge (omg how many cities just got taken out) feel of the previous novels, you won't quite feel that here. But that same lop-sidedness was also a weakness. This one has fewer weaknesses but also less OMG TWSFC, too. :)
So the big question is... WHY ARE THESE NOVELS SO UNKNOWN? Christopher Golden was flying high with his popular first few novels and it's not like he went away at all. And these ARE of the same quality as the first few! So why has that fan base gone away? It's a real shame because few writers have the brass knuckles (or other dangly bits) to fly with ambitious projects like this. I personally LOVE this kind of courage in a writer. :)
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