"Titus Crow, Volume 1"

I finished this book a week ago. It's the first of three volumes centered around the main character Titus Crow, set in the strange and dark world created by Lovecraft. One of the main reasons I purchased these book is primarily for that setting - I've been a big fan of Lovecraft's works for years. I've always loved the descriptions Lovecraft gave to Great Old Ones and dreamwork - "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" was one of my favorites. So I had some high expectations for Lumley's books.

The first one ... well, I like it and kind of hate it at the same time (spoilers coming up). Basically Lumley puts science behind Cthulhu and the Elder Gods. He describes the relationship between the Elder Gods and the Great Old Ones, basically making them into a simple (or simpler) good vs. evil cosmic battle, with humans caught in the middle. It's an interesting take on the mythos and sometimes I found myself smiling at what Lumley was doing. Then there were times where I really did not like this take at all. The reason I like Lovecraft's work is because he doesn't describe the root causes of everything. There's shadows and horrors and impossible geometries everywhere...but the reader is left to conjure up elements on his or her own. Lumley takes the mystery out of the mythos and that left me with mixed feelings. I admire his attempt, but it left me with a flat feeling as I continued on with Crow's adventures.

I'm going to wait until I'm done with all three volumes before I give a "yes" or "no" on the works. Right now I'm on the fence. Maybe if you haven't read any of Lovecraft's works, you'd enjoy this take. Lumley is a good author - I can see where the story may be entertaining on its own. But if you've devoured Lovecraft's writings in the past, it may not work out.

* Posted at 03.22.2010 10:33:08 PM CST | Link *

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