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Evening's Empire (edition 2003)
by David Herter
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312870345, Hardcover)David Herter's debut novel, the SF adventure Ceres Storm, appeared amid a flurry of well-deserved praise. With his second novel, Herter turns to contemporary fantasy in the mode of Gene Wolfe and Charles de Lint.
A composer struggling to create in the wake of tragedy, Russell Kent returns to Evening, the Oregon coast town where his wife fell to her death in the shadow of the founder's mysterious mansion. In Evening, Kent finds new creative energy, the possibility of new romance, and a bizarre secret for which he uncovers impossible, undeniable evidence: Evening is built over the entrance of an ancient, subterranean city--one that may still be inhabited.
Though a sensitive, thoughtful, adult novel, Evening's Empire has something in common with a very different work, Disney's kids-oriented animated movie Atlantis: both are an homage to Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and to the whole Victorian-era school of lost- world adventures, a vast genre nowadays nearly forgotten except for Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is regrettable that Herter did not incorporate some of the lost-world adventure's adolescent energy in Evening's Empire. The novel's pace is gentle, the tone muted, and a meandering climax diffuses the tension. --Cynthia Ward
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:17 -0400)
A visitor to the small town of Evening, Oregon, a town famous for its cheese, outsider Russell Kent discovers both love and a bizarre, secret underground world in a cavern beneath the town.
(summary from another edition)