Third in the series that started with “The Burrowers Beneath” (1974). The last published was 1989’s “Elysia:The Coming Of Cthulhu.” There were numerous short stories afterwards.
The front of the book makes the absurd statement, “An experience beyond time and space. The cosmic vision of Phillip K.Dick and the savage humor of Harlan Ellison.” You will never and I mean never find a combination of Dick and Ellison…..never! I like Lumley and consider that blurb a real disservice.
The series takes place in the universe of H.P.Lovecraft but is more of a light hearted action adventure than the grisly horror of Lovecraft. The books use Lovecraft’s creations but the fright factor is very low. Crow and his pal Henri-Laurent de Marigny use a clock with four hands to travel space-time. In this outing there are monsters and rescues galore.
Marigny gets the word from the God Kthanid of Elysia that Crow and his girlfriend Tiania are being held prisoners by some devilish creatures that take over a town thanks to a large ruby that contains a vampire. Tiania is the most beautiful girl ever on Earth or in the land of dreams where this book takes place. She’s also Kthanid’s daughter.
Of course Henri mounts the clock and saves the day only to get involved in more harrowing adventures. It looks like it’ll all turn out fine until a giant Night-Gaunt grabs Tiania and takes her back to a cave where she’s held prisoner. She and Titus are inches away from being tossed into a pit until Henri shows up. Good thing the clock has a lasar. It’s also nice that Crow and Henri have access to a cloak that allows them to fly.
There are more monsters to come and as horrible as they are the Lovecraftian art of presenting them is missing. Lumley is a good writer but to really appreciate his talents check out his long running Necroscope series.