Brian Keene’s novel The Lost Level was published in 2015, and a few friends told me wonders about it, but only this week I was able to finally crack my copy open and read it, fully aware of the fact that in the meantime The Lost Level has turned into a series.
In a nutshell: occult dabbler Aaron Pace finds a way to travel the multiverse through occult means, but then stumbles into the Lost Level, an inter-dimensional Sargasso Sea, a cul-de-sac from which there is no way out, where the dregs of infinite worlds and timelines get dumped for all eternity.
Faced with telepathic snake-men, dinosaurs, giant robots and other horrors, and in the company of a beautiful woman and a two-fisted cat-man, Aaron starts his exploration of the Lost Level.
The Lost Level is a fun action-adventure yarn, fast-paced and vividly written, that carries the reader along with a non-stop succession of surprises, mysteries and weirdness. Taking its inspiration from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books (the Pellucidar series in particular), lost race/lost world novels, 1970s mysterious archaeology and assorted items (the Bermuda Triangle is a gateway to the Lost Level), and from Joe R. Lansdale’s The Drive In, still this is an original work that delivers the promised thrills.
The ghost of Philip J. Farmer is probably haunting the Lost Level, but this is a good thing.
Quite good and well worth checking out.
And lucky me, it’s the start of a series.