Massive sinkholes are opening across the country - each larger and deeper than the previous one. First the family pets go missing, and anyone living near one of the pits, is reporting strange phenomena - the vibrations, sulphurous odours and strange sounds rising up from the stygian depths. Then come the reports of horrifying ‘things’ rising from the darkness.
When the people start disappearing the government is forced to act. A team is sent in to explore one of the holes – and all hell breaks loose - the Old Ones are rising up again.
From the war zones of the Syrian Desert, to the fabled Library of Alexandria, and then to Hades itself, join Professor Matt Kearns, as he searches for the fabled Al Azif, known as the Book of the Dead. He must unravel an age-old prophecy, and stop Beings from a time even before the primordial ooze, which seek once again to claim the planet as their own. Time is running out, for Matt, and all life on Earth.
©2014 Greig Beck (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Firstly - if you like Matthew Reilly, then you will LOVE this guy!! I kept thinking this was a Matthew Reilly book, or that Greig Beck was Matthew Reilly in disguise... I guess the fact that Sean Mangan reads Matthew Reilly books and also does this one, helped me think this way... and the fact that the storylines sounded like they could be from the same author. Which is fantastic for me, because I love Matthew Reilly. NOW I also love Greig Beck. And I love that i can now go and listen to all the other audios of his :D
Secondly, if you don't know who Matthew Reilly is, or have never read GREIG BECK - do it. BOTH are great.
I'm so glad that I have found Greig Beck.
"Memories of watching the SciFi channel at 4:00 AM"
I don't know how to rate this book. Decent marks for what it is, or bad marks for not being what I hoped it was when I bought it. The latter is possibly my fault for not doing my research before buying.
I was hoping for something more in the vein of Lovecraft, rather than just having Lovecraft monsters in it. I suppose creepy horror, moderate subtlety? I expected something scary and a little cheesy, writing/plot predictability around the level of Preston/Child, or Koontz, and it ended up being... less. Like I said in the title, it reminds me of staying up until the middle of the night and watching some cheesy low budget movie I'd never heard of on TV. It would be perfect for the MST3K treatment.
If that's what you're looking for, you've found it, and you can view these as five star ratings. It's got drama-destroying cheesiness within the first few minutes, an unrealistically capable and well-liked ladies man main character, a deadly yet beautiful exotic femme fatale from an exotic military culture, intrigue, backstabbing, military banter, stoicism, teenage-like behavior from professional adults, terrorists, SCUBA diving, explosions, plot holes, the works.
What I liked, well, some of the monster descriptions were cool, and a lot happens in the plot. You can listen to it while doing something else and not worry about missing important details. I don't mean to be a snob (I probably am, sorry), I just want to make sure people know what they're getting into.
"Enjoyable but predictable"
It sits squarely in the category of "a good listen". The author did a great job of building vivid scenes and filling them with likable characters, and the story was enjoyable. But I kept seeing the plot twists and character revelations coming. I did like the subject and the way the author balanced mysticism, discovery, and action.
I liked the Israeli agent. She was no nonsense, tough, and didn't waste time. I felt she was a used as a device by the author to keep the story moving at an appropriate pace instead of getting bogged down in theory and discussion.
"Old People Voice". The narrator's voice fit well for general story telling and for voicing the older people in the story. But it just didn't fit well for the thirty-something academics or the young female captain. Also, the narrator kept reading the numbers literally. So "250" was read as "two-five-oh" instead of "two hundred and fifty". It was kind of distracting.
There was a moment near the end of the story between the Israeli agent and the US Army major where they put aside their differences long enough to share a professional word of respect that I thought was well done.
The author needs to realize that two Navy SEALs will never look to a conventional Army major (especially a staff major) for guidance and tactics in the heat of battle. That kept occurring during the book, and the artificiality of it was terribly distracting.
One great thing about this book is that the author treated the military characters as human. He didn't fall into the cliche of painting them as killers with cardboard personalities who would destroy anything and everything as long as they won. The military characters weighed the consequences of their actions and felt the repercussions of their decisions.
"Whittling Away At It. Keep Jumping To Other Books."
I don't often write a review before I've finished a book, but honestly, I don't know if I'm going to finish this one. It's very H.P. Lovecraft, except it's not Lovecraft.
There have been some parts that held my attention, but mostly I find my mind wandering off to grocery lists and what I need to get done before the end of the week.
It takes a huge stretch of the imagination to try to buy into the story line.
If I could go back and know what I know now, I wouldn't buy it.
Awesome story with good characters. The monsters sound positively nightmarish! I'll be checking out more from this author!
"I think I found my new favorite author!!"
This book is awesome and ranks near the top of my long list of books.
I really liked all the characters. They each played their own significant role in the story.
He is a great narrator. I think he did an equally good job with each of the characters.
When the shaggoths were attacking people. Pretty intense and grotesque. But don't take that the wrong way, as the book itself isn't overly dark and macabre. It's flow is more like that of a F. Paul Wilson novel.
If you are a fan of the Cthulhu Mythos, you'll enjoy this book. In my opinion, it ranks above many of the others we find these days. I'm looking forward to listening to more of Greig's books. Keep doing what your doing man!!
I'm a huge fan of Greig Beck as well as H.P. Lovecraft. This story satisfied the expectation for adventure and discovery that Beck always brings to his books. Beck has also provided a wonderful imagining of the Lovecraft Mythos, supported by his own reoccurring characters.
Recommended for any Fans of Beck or Lovecraft lore.
"Modern Cthulhu Mythos"
Loved it. A great moden take on the Cthulhu Mythos.
The descrptions were just detailed enough to set my mind to work in filling in the gruesome blanks, just as it should be. An excellent horror story Lovecraft himself would be proud of.
The narrator was excellent, the story (while not even vaguely believable - but, hey, horror novel) was fun, and it moved along quickly.
The quick pace and author's descriptions.
Mangan is an excellent narrator, but listening to his slow reading can get a tad annoying. Once I sped it up to 1.5x, I was happy, though!
"Great story line!"
I'm not a fan of full language and feel it is way over used lately, outside of the occasional cursing this book is engaging and very entertaining.
"The Cthulhu book I always wanted... almost."
I liked this book, I really did. There are just some things about it I wished were different. For one, I wish books had ratings on them like movies. If they did, this one would be a solid R with around 30 "F-words" and one mildly graphic sex scene. It didn't need that. The Indiana Jones movies proved you can have a fun, supernatural, action-packed archaeological adventure without resorting to crudeness. I can overlook a lot of swearing, but it almost put me off of this book.
That said, the book itself was a ton of fun! I am a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan and have always wanted a good "modern" treatment of the Cthulhu mythos and this book was a good start, if a little cliched. I wish the author had contributed a few more Lovecraftian themes and characters into the story. Where are the fish-people? The Dunwich Horror? Oh well. A lot of Lovecraft scholars and superfans will write this book off as a mockery of Lovecraft's masterworks, and maybe it is a little, but take it for what it's worth and just have fun with it.
The performance by Sean Mangan was pretty good. It makes me wonder if he went to school in England because though he had an "American" accent, he would pronounce some words in a more British fashion. For example, "skeletal" was pronounced "skel-EE-tle". He would also say numbers in kind of a weird way. Instead of saying 120 "one-hundred twenty," he would say "one twenty." Ex.) The car was easily going one twenty miles per hour. Kind of obnoxious.
Final verdict: This was a very fun, exciting, relatively mindless adventure with some good world history thrown in and a fun take on the Cthulhu mythos. Don't take it seriously and you'll enjoy it. If you like Dirk Pitt, Indiana Jones and Robert Langdon, this one fits in there. Just beware of the swearing and sex scene, if such things bother you.
"Well read sf book"
Great story but a little rushed at the end I think, very well read reminds me of ' the thing ' in places
"A nice modern take on the Mythos"
It is always nice to read a new book based on the works of HP Lovecraft and while some things are not true to the source material it is an excellent book in it's own right.
I did find the narrators lack of skill with accents troubling and the Persian with a Cornish accent particularly memorable.
"Americans just can't resist showing off can they?"
Predctable. That's what this book is, utterly predictable. Even the narator sounded as if he was bored but trying not to be. Actually, gramatically it's better than most American books never mind gorrors but there's a surfiet of info dumping, showing off, arrogance (Greg Beck is Matt the language professor) and lacking in consistency. For instance the characters fold their arms even when they're already folded. They smile when they're already smiling. In fact that's just about all they ever do. Morris become Miller and so on. Otherwise it has elements of Jamrs Herbert and the Daphne Du Maurier short story 'The Birds' plus others as well. It's all right if you'll read jsut about any horror book but not up to much if you prefer your horrors to be truly horrid and not just an exercise in showing off and info dumping. It might work as a film but not much more than that.
"A Page Turner"
This audio book started off promissing and the idea really intruiged me but as it went on it did become rather annoying. The characters were very "Made for TV film" and at the end I was pleased to finish.
It reminded me of something by Dan Brown!
"Best book I've heard in a long time"
Couldn't put it down great book pity they haven't done a follow up of the booking would listen again
"Started very well, then . . . ."
Too many things to mention
It wasn't really Sean as such, it was the writing
It had me laughing at times when it shouldn't have.
One of the the final scenes was like the Monty Python sketch in the Holy Grail were the Knights who say ni are now the Knights who say Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-PTANG. Zoom-Boing. Z'nourrwringmm.
"Great great story - iffy narrator"
Thoroughly enjoyed this piece of fiction and has elements of many fascinating things. Narrator let it down but not so much that it wasn't an enjoyable listen - the story deserved a better speaker
"Great fun and a worthy addition to Lovecraft's Mythos"
I love a good scary monster book and anything Lovecraft related gets my vote every time. I mean, what other monster story can boast a creature that is a Demi-God from another dimension, taller than a mountain with the head of an octopus and vile blobs as servants? Now that is monster-value for money!
This story starts a little slow and is a bit draggy while the group slog around the Middle East but stick with it as it soon picks up. The characters are well rounded and believable, if slightly cartoonish in their stereotypes. But what we're here for is the monsters and it doesn't disappoint - as well as Cluthu and the Shoggoths we have so many other fantastical and nasty beasties not to mention the dastardly human baddies. There are occasional gory moments but they fit into the story and aren't gratuitous, and anyway it's a monster story so you probably won't mind!
I haven't read any of this authors work before but based on this book I will definitely be looking at his back catalogue. The narrator is excellent and I was very impressed with his pronunciation of the made up monster language - well done!!
If you like a good creepy story, I've also recently enjoyed Dark Matter, The Woman in Black and The Waiting Room on Audible.
"The old ones arise."
Lovecraftian is a difficult thing to do well, but Greig Beck manages it with this book. The first half has some great atmosphere, with nice slowly building dread. This is relinquished somewhat for the more plot driven second half, but it still managed to send shivers down my spine.
A highly recommended read for those whp wish to see what would happen if the old one arose today!
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