Sunday, September 1, 2013
London and Mexico After Midnight
Herbert seems to have a good time destroying large portions of London, with a cloud-fueled soccer riot probably the best set-piece. Herbert's protagonists have an astonishing ability to survive physical punishment (the oldest and wisest paranormal investigator seems to get strangled every ten pages), which is good, because they must endure a lot of it.
This is an enjoyable horror novel in which evil operates more like a plague than the sort of thing one normally sees in horror novels. The protagonists are sympathetic if somewhat broadly drawn, and the stakes convincingly high. While this is horror, the depiction of the civil authorities pitching in to fight a supernatural menace also contains echoes of an awful lot of the British science-fiction-disaster tradition seen in the Quatermass series, Doctor Who, and the novels of John Wyndham. The sudden ending is quite loopy. Recommended.
The protagonists -- a handsome Welsh archaeologist and a sexy Hispanic-American telepath -- have sex because that's how these things happen. And she is the most beautiful woman in the world, because that's also how these things happen. The telepath promises the reader that something terrible is coming. It never actually does. Sort of a wet firecracker. Not recommended.