Wednesday 21 March 2018

Book Review: Ire of the Void

Ire of the Void
Written by Richard Lee Byers
Published by Fantasy Flight Games
Available now in hardback and e-book

Astronomer and Miskatonic University professor Norman Withers has all but given up on regaining his colleagues’ esteem when a protégé of the renowned Albert Einstein comes to speak on campus. The visiting physicist, with unsettling theories about the curvature of space-time, may hold the key to helping Norman explain the phenomenon of the vanishing stars. But when Norman agrees to assist the physicist with his own experimental conundrums, they find themselves no longer the seekers of knowledge, but those sought after. What creatures lurk in the angles of time, and how can two men of science stand up to beings that defy the laws of reality?

I’ve generally thought that Fantasy Flight novels are highly enjoyable, capturing the flavour of their games, with just a few subtle nods to make fans get a little thrill, but also being well-written enough that they could stand on their own merits. The Android novels, in particular, I’ve enjoyed very much. If you couple that with me having been a Lovecraft nut for over twenty years, then you’ll understand why I was pretty optimistic about this novella.

Then it turns out that the main monsters are the Hounds of Tindalos, my favourite non-deity creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos. Yeah, I was hyped for this one. Fortunately, my expectations were met. While this book isn’t doing anything new - it’s pretty much “Lovecraft by the Non-Euclidean Numbers”, but that doesn’t stop it being as enjoyable as hell. The characters are all well defined, the horror stark without being over the top, and the mystery generally proceeds very well.

Byers proves himself to be a very good writer, here, echoing Lovecraft’s tone, while also ensuring to keep his own voice as well.

As an extra bonus, included with the hardback version of the book are some cards for the Arkham Horror LCG that allow you to play as the novella’s protagonist, Norman Withers. He’s a pretty cool character, and his attached weakness is that he’s being pursued guess it, the Tindlos’i Hounds. So, if you were worried that the LCG wasn’t hard enough, then take him out for a spin. Through The Curse of the Rou-Garou, maybe?

Hardcore Arkham Horror fans will want to pick this up for the exclusive cards, but they should read the novella too, as it’s a hell of a lot of fun. For fans of Lovecraft or the Arkham Files series who aren’t big players of the LCG, you can probably afford to save a few quid and pick up the e-book. It’s a fun story, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

One of the founding members of E14, Brad Harmer-Barnes boasts an impressive track record in the entertainment industry. A comedian since the age of 12, Harmer created the comedy club Rock N' Rant which entertained the people of Chatham for over five years.

A recurring guest on the Crazy Train podcast, Brad published his first novel, North Sea Hunters, in 2017, and you can now find all of his books from Severed Press via Amazon using the links below!

No comments:

Post a Comment