You know that dream where you’re fighting zombie saboteurs in the machinery bowels beneath the city, and you’re naked? Or the one where the cadaverous old man teaches you to charm the giant woodlouse with song? Or the one where you and your best friend have to defeat the skyborne naval forces of the evil queen? Well, they’re in this book anyway.
This second volume of Lumley’s series set in the “lands of Earth’s dreams” carries over the main protagonists from the first book. The story reads very quickly, and has more of an integrated plot system than the previous volume, which seemed more episodic. In addition to taking over the setting from H.P. Lovecraft, Lumley here increasingly shows a debt to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, even going so far as to title the first chapter “Ill Met in Celephais.”
Like much of the Lumley I’ve read, this book is “empty calories,” but the aftertaste is nothing but pleasant.