Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Novella Review - Agents of Dreamland

Novella - Agents of Dreamland  
Writer - Caitlin R. Kiernan    
Published By -
I am not very familiar with works by H. P. Lovecraft, only read a few of his short stories so far. But decided to check out this novella solely based on the blurb which seemed quite interesting to me. And I am quite glad that I did; 'Agents of Dreamland' is a story filled with suspense, horror, mesmerizing prose prowess and intriguing characters. I finished this in one night and was left with an intense desire to read more about this world, characters and overall more of Caitlin's writing and a strong conviction that I need to check out what this Lovecraft guy is all about once and for all.

The author jumps through characters and time periods to tell this story in a unique way. There are several viewpoints throughout the prose. A government special agent known only as the Signalman meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman. In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible 'the Children of the Next Level' and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.

All of these characters are described with utmost care with emphasis on their personalities and ways, adding the sense of doom and despair which the author was aiming for. The story is quite fast paced in its own way and the twists and turns keep the reader guessing and take them on a journey which, despite being quite uncomfortable at times is a journey that you cannot but continue till the end.

Signalman is a cynical government agent who has seen too much to be able to enjoy sleep or any peace of mind, yet he struggles on his journey to solve the case. Chloe is an unfortunate and lost girl acting as a pawn in a game far bigger that her understanding and tries in her way to make sense of a world gone crazy. Immacolata, the mystery woman, who is traveling between past and future trying to save mankind from threats which are quite inevitable in their ways.

While the reading was a bit complex in the beginning, the story slowly unravels, and more and more interesting as the reading progresses, and ultimately ends in a way that is while quite understandable still leaves the reader hoping for more clearance (or sequels perhaps). This is modern Lovecraftian horror at its very best and overall a great horror standalone for unfamiliar readers as well.

Another triumph from My only complain once again is that this should have been a full length novel and my demand is that I want sequels, period.
Will give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.    

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