Monday, December 29, 2014

The Lost Level - by Brian Keene - Book One in a new lost world/time travel series

4.5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

One look at the cover art from Kirsi Salonen and you have a pretty good idea where Brian Keene's, The Lost Level, is going to take you.  This homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sid and Marty Kroft, Joe R. Lansdale, H. G. Wells, and others takes you  to places that can only be reached through the imagination.

The story is told by Aaron Pace, written by hand in a spiral-bound notebook found in a student's backpack inside of an abandoned school bus.  The school bus and Aaron are on, or is it in, the lost level, a place from which there is no way home.  He got there through the Labyrinth.  "The Labyrinth is perhaps best described as a dimensional shortcut through space and time.  It touches and connects everything.  Most of humanity remains ignorant of it's presence, but it is explored and utilized by madmen, magi, occultists, and a few in the highest levels of world government."

Aaron's goal in writing this all down is so he can attempt to explain how he got to The Lost Level and what happened after. Especially the story of his friends Kasheena and Bloop.  I can't go into great detail about what happens in the book without getting into big-time spoiler mode.  Let's just say the story borrows from other Keene novels (with entertaining results), there's a bit of the TV series Lost thrown in, and a definite Twilight Zone vibe as well.  There are monsters everywhere and with a sun that never sets, time itself is irrelevant.

My only complaint is that The Lost Level ended too soon.  The good news is that Keene has merely scratched the surface in what could be his opus piece.  I eagerly await Return to the Lost Level and the prequel to book one, Hole in the World.

Published by Apex Publications, the actual release date for The Lost Level isn't until January 19th, 2015.  But, if you pre-order the paperback through the publisher's website, you get the (DRM free) e-book immediately.

Recommended?  You betcha!

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I finished reading it this weekend and just posted my review this morning. Like you said, it ended too soon, but it's good to be hungry for the next chapter.