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Death's Dominion by Simon Clark

Death's Dominion

by Simon Clark

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I chose to read Death's Dominion because it shared a lot of similarities with the book I finished just before. I had just finished Falling Free by Lois Bujold, which was about genetically-engineered humanoids with 4 arms and no legs, design to work efficiently as engineers in space. Their creators look at them from a purely financial point of view, and think of them as nothing more than physical property.

This book has a similar plot, with a horror theme. Humans have begun reanimating the dead to act as servants and protectors. They aren't smelly rotten corpses, and in fact they are physically superior in just about every way imaginable and they have the same level of intellect as any living person, but humanity still sees them as nothing more than monsters. Horrified by their own creations, they have begun to systematically eliminate every 'living' Transient they come across.

Unfortunately, that's where the similarities end. For, while I enjoyed Falling Free, Death's Dominion was pretty much completely terrible. It's terribly repetitious, I honestly can only think of a single book that was more obnoxiously repetitive (and I still get a little murderous when I hear that "Badri said the slippage was minimal"). He really wants you to remember that the Transients can't harm humans and he harps on it constantly. After hearing this a dozen times or more I'm pretty sure I could have pushed Mr. Clark down the nearest flight of stairs. I mean seriously, I kind of got it after the first couple times, thanks...

Anyway, it's pretty stupid. I suggest avoiding it. ( )
  Ape | Feb 11, 2014 |
Kinda dumb,but well written. ( )
  kagan | Nov 8, 2009 |
It isn't hard to see the good in Death's Dominion--Clark's prose skills and characterizations (where applied) are quite up to the task of diverting the reader. Unfortunately, I think much of the good elements in the book is undone by poor choices.

Characterizations are lavished on the point-of-view characters, but lacking in the secondary tier (primarily antagonists and those characters who sleep with POV characters), and utterly absent in the third tier, where some characters weren't even named until they died. The sex scenes are abrupt, silly, and fail to show any emotional attachment between characters. The idiot plot rears its head when nobody realizes there are not one, but two names that end in the letter "n" among the godscarers. Dominion's interesting point-of-view is mostly abandoned to obscure the developing mystery plot about his origin. The godscarers' inability to disobey or harm humans repeatedly strains credibility.

Even though Leisure Books is a horror imprint, Death's Dominion isn't a traditional horror story. Coming from the monsters' point of view, it's more an anti-horror tale which finds common ground with much of today's urban/contemporary fantasy. ( )
  Wova4 | Apr 15, 2009 |
Interesting concept. Not my favorite story. This is the story of a time when the dead are reanimated and brought back as servants and workers. But then the same people that brought them back from the dead eventually persecute them in something akin to the Salem Witch Trials. As I said, it was an "interesting" read, but a little too far-fetched and "hokey" for my taste. ( )
  nfmgirl2 | Apr 12, 2009 |
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Modern scientists have proven Dr. Frankenstein right. They have discovered a way to raise the dead. Unlike Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, these gentle creatures docilely serve their masters, but the living have begun to despise the dead among them. They are disgusted by their creations, and the government has set out to systematically destroy every last one of the “monsters.” The monsters cannot fight back—it’s not in their nature to defend themselves. That is, until one of the creatures retaliates against humanity with shocking brutality. In the war between the living and the dead, a new leader has arisen.
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Today science raises the dead to serve the living, but humanity begins to despise the risen dead who toil among them. After all, what does it feel like to shake hands with a corpse? Or converse with a man who died last year?

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