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5 Reasons The Necroscope is a Horror Lovers Delight - Paranormal, Politics and Pure Evil
Larceny, tyranny and blood. Oh, my.
Some people love fantasy. Others swoon for a good romance. I'm a die hard vampire fan. From Dracula to Lestat to Edward in the Twilight series, I've read them all.
The Necroscope by Brian Lumley is far and above my favorite vampire book ever read, save the rest of the books in the series. That's really saying something.
Standing alone or combined with the series in its entirety, these books reek of the macabre, the terrifying, the evil that horror lovers crave in characters.
Come with me as we explore just why this is the quintessential vampire book, the very best bar none. Over the last decade or so, vampires have changed in popular fiction and movies. They have become romantic, often cast as misunderstood heroes.
You won't find any of that here. This is no watered down walk through little scary town for teens nor is it some paranormal painted hand holding romance parading about in disguise. No. Lumely does real horror.
Let's scope it out.
Image credit; by Brian Lumley, author. All the images contained herein are of books in the series. Each is clickable. Check it out.
Reason number one the Necroscope is the best vampire horror ever is the main character.
Nope, guys and gals, he's not a vampire.
In fact, he's not even grown. Meet our main character, Harry Keogh. We get to see Harry grow into a hero of epic porportions.
I couldn't help but fall in love with this kid. He's so alone at first. The teacher in me just wanted to reach into the pages and hug him. We've all met that really cool little guy that always ends up alone for no apparent reason.
That's Harry, or so it seems. However, when is anything ever as it seems? Everyone has a talent at something. Harry is no exception. His talent however is exceptional. You see, Harry is a necroscope. What's that you ask? The short answer is Harry talks to the dead.
Image credit; Vamphiri - part two of the Necroscope series by Brian Lumley, author.
Harry isn't the only hero in town.
Our tale is epic filled with both good and bad guys.
Playing for the good guys is an entire team of government agents. We're talking British government here. We are not talking about politicians, lobbyist or other money grubbing pretenders. No. We are talking about guys that actually get their hands dirty to keep humanity safe behind the scenes.
As if this wasn't enough combined with a kid that talks to dead folks, our dear agency is clandestine in the extreme. It's made up of dedicated individuals that each have unique paranormal talents of their own. The agency features precogs, telepathic minds, locators and all manner of wonderfully intriguing para-psychological talents.
It's kind of like James Bond meets Ghostbusters without the comedy. As Lumley puts it, "gadgets and ghosts."
Image credit; Part three of The Necroscope series by Brian Lumley, author supreme.
Enter the bad guys, reason number two the Necroscope is the best vampire horror ever.
Hands down, this has the best most evil, scheming, all around scary bad guys and it isn't just the vamps.
While all of our good guys pretty much end up playing for the same team, not so much in the bad guy department. There are bad guys and then there are BAD guys. It's great!
Just as our good guys play for the government, so do many of the bad guys. In this case, the other side is Russia during the Cold War. The Russian side has it's own clandestine agency full of paranormal diehards working for a cause.
Well, mostly they are working for the cause. Not all bad guys are on the same bad side. I'm not giving it away. You have to check it out for subterfuge, espionage and plotting on a scale to rival any bad guy you have ever met fictional or real.
It is worth mentioning the other side has a necroscope of its very own. The difference between our lovable Harry and this guy is a vivid as the difference between midnight and noon. It's also a good demonstration of the depth between good and bad in the Lumley universe.
The dead talk to Harry because they love him. He doesn't force anyone to talk to him. The guy playing for the other side, Borris, tortures the dead. He takes information from them in the most grotesque and violating ways possible. Oh, but I forgot to mention, he's not the baddest bad guy around. He just gets loads of play on the front end of the book.
Image credit; by Brian Lumley, author.
Reason number three the Necroscope is the best vampire horror ever is the epic factor.
It's not just the globe trotting espionage, it's the history of the characters too.
That's what's so cool about vampires and dead folks. Talk about views into history. Think about it. Vampires any good at being vampires live for centuries, maybe more. Better still, the dead go back to the beginnings of humanity.
Between the two, readers are treated to a most unique glimpse into history with a skew seldom if ever seen through the eyes of a text book.
This is one area in which Lumley has few rivals. His writing in regards to weaving actual, proven historic fact and trivia into fiction reminds me of Anne Rice and Jean Auel for its shining excellence.
For history buffs drawn to the cold war area, Russian history, Romanian history, basically much of European history and political buffs, this series is the fodder of wish list fantasies and history loving wet dreams.
Image credit; by Mr. Lumley, author.
Reason number four the Necroscope is the best vampire horror ever is fiction twists in vampire mythology.
Everyone's heard of the garlic and mirrors, the perpetuation through bite and so on.
Lumley takes the vampire mythology to wholly never before imagined places. His attention to detail is awesome. From new tidbits about how vampirism is spread to powers new and terrifying to behold, these vamps come with baggage, serious type baggage.
In the first book, we get a foreshadowing of the epic that's to come in relation to vampire history. The bad guy in book one is terrifying, but doesn't come close to how bad it gets when Lumley later envisions much larger populations of fiends.
In the first few sequels, Brian astounds with his attention to political intrigue woven with tiny threads of truth borrowed from human history. In later books, the same stellar intrigue is richly found throughout entirely fictional societies. Mind blowing doesn't do it justice.
Image credit; by the one and only, master of the macbre, Brian Lumley, author extraordinaire.
Reason number five the Necroscope is the best vampire horror ever is the science behind the fantastic.
How many times have I read something that sounded way cool, but not really believable?
Seriously, so many books and movies take us to fantastical places, to events so outside our normal realm of existence as to be fascinating, yet they never really explain how we got there in such a way that makes sense.
It's understandable really. Let's face it. Such stories come from great writers with creative minds, not necessarily those who do well in the worlds of hard science, quantum physics, astronomy and higher mathematics.
Lumely dances in the worlds of hard science and math with a cat like grace. Better still, he writes it in such a way as to be instantly and easily understandable to the reader.
For years, i used his example of a Mobius strip and his characterization of the famous German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius to teach math. His was the most understandable explanation of a Mobius strip I ever heard. What's that and what's it got to do with anything?
Basically, it's a mathematical theory of folding time and space. Our main character Harry has cause to explore it on the quick and masters the concept thanks to the help of one long dead to the world mathematician, Mobius. The two become dear friends on a quest to save humanity from the vampires they discover quite by accident.
Image credit; Book five in the series, by Brian, of course.
There are just as many more reasons for horror lovers to adore the Necroscope.
We didn't even meet the vampires!
I could not begin to do them justice. They are by far, collectively and each individually the most evil fiends I have ever had the joy of reading about from any author. Deliciously dark, devilish and deceptive on a scale only a politician could come close to touching, check out The Necroscope series. You will be glad you did.