The monster on the cover is good for a laugh in this SF-Horor combination that reads like a 1930’s serial. Most of those were a lot of fun so I had a good time reading this one. I had my doubts when I started it but when I flash backed on those fifteen chapter epics I knew what I was in for. I hope all involved didn’t think the cover was scary.
Sometime in the future a segment of the population lived underwater. They called themselves aquamen and said they were better than drylanders. Bert comes from underwater to go to an auction. Strange things start happening.
He sees himself on a balcony, a body falls out of a chest and a naked girl is being chased by a monster. But the auction goes on and Bert’s friend George Pomfort sees some items he wants to bid on. Bert gets a globe. As soon as he makes the successful bid a man named Hall Brennan offers him double for it.
The three men are joined by Phoebe Desmond and Lottie along with Paul Benenson. Also on hand is Charlie, one of George’s house robots. Bert doesn’t say anything but Lottie is the girl he saw being chased.
Hall tells them a legend about Khamushkel the Undying. He’s a seven thousand year old monster who at one time destroyed all humanity. He’s been locked behind a vault and is guarded by his twin children. He’s on the verge of breaking out. Inside the globe is a clue to the location of the vault. To prevent his return our band of adventurers head for the desert in Iraq. It won’t be easy since the cosmic monster can shift time. He can also send out monsters to raise havoc.
If you’re a serial fan you’ll recognize the technique of cliffhangers from adventure to adventure. Their jetcopter crashes in the desert after an encounter with an unleashed monster.. Four people approach. Three men and a knockout (what else?) girl. They’re friendly and just out for a picnic. There’s a language barrier but they make do. Then a huge twister is on its way. Luckily the girl’s father comes by in his plane and gets them out of there. The group ends up in an ancient city populated by the Flower People (After all the book was written in 1967).
Everything is peaceful but then….earthquake! That’s just the start of the hazards faced by our intrepid troupe. I don’t want to spoil the fun relating the adventures to come. It’s was easy to see how this would have been divided into serial chapters. That doesn’t mean this is a long, drawn out book. It’s the usual 190 pages and moves quickly. If you’re looking for entertainment check it out.