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The Hungering God Novel by Alan Bligh
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This book is the Hegelian synthesis of the two prior volumes in its trilogy: Dance of the Damned which featured the Legion of Rapture cult, and The Lies of Solace with its kindred the Hand of Solace. Both cults continue on after metamorphoses in The Hungering God, and the rather similar structures of the earlier books are put to good use. In this strange little series, it appears that the authors wrote the earlier volumes in parallel, and then brought the two plot-lines together for a finale.

Despite the basis for these books in the settings and characters of the Arkham Horror gaming franchise (itself erected on the foundation of a Derlethian Cthulhu Mythos), neither place nor person is left as an unchanging piece of the story in this final segment. The telling is full of dreams, hallucinations, and disruptions of the continuity of space-time and personal identity, so that readers may be rather bewildered in efforts to follow the plot. Given the conceit (introduced forcefully in The Hand of Solace) that the External Powers at stake could rewrite a prior course of events, I began to suspect that the end of this trilogy would offer an "explanation" for the absence of Arkham and Miskatonic country from today's geography. I was wrong, but not as wrong as many of the book's characters become.

Strangely, while women investigators were central to both of the prior volumes, they are no longer center stage in this one. A new character Grace Ziolkowski (a physician at Arkham Sanitarium) takes their place to a minor extent, while the male characters of the previous books (Charles Raker, Professor Walters, Doctor Fields, Tony Morgan) provide the continuity.

On the whole, I am impressed with the work of Bligh and French in creating a multi-volume narrative out of Yog-Sothothery for which the paradigmatic form is the short story.
4 vote paradoxosalpha | Sep 23, 2014 |
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