By Tim Waggoner
Nekropolis is the first volume in a new series of fantasy horror, written by Tim Waggoner and is based on his novella Necropolis.
Matt Richter is a former cop now a private eye with a big difference, he is a zombie (could happen to anyone really). A zombie private detective does have it's advantages like a single minded approach, and no nerve cells to worry about when you get shot / stabbed / clawed / bitten or disfigured. There are however inherent problems also with being a shambling animated corpse, for a start unless you keep up the preservative spells bits of you are going to start dropping off and crumbling away.
Nekropolis is a dimension where all the undead exist, after leaving Earth 300 years ago (who can blame them). There is however still dimensional portals to the blue planet and it is through one of these that Matt arrived in this alternative version of hell. Nekropolis is divided into five distinct regions, each controlled by a Vampire Lord and under the unlitmate rule of Father Dis.
Every Day for Matt is about survival in the hostile environment that is Nekropolis and finding enough work to pay for the spells that keep his body in one piece. The spells will only do so much however and Matt is in a race against time to finish his current case before his body falls to pieces on him. He has all the elements of a classic private eye, from the cynical but noble attitude to the dogged determination along with a resourcefulness that keeps him alive in a very dangerous world.
The setting of Nekropolis, a dimension full of all the different forms of un-dead and demons, along with the premise of the Zombie P.I. really creates a unique blend of Horror, Fantasy and Crime elements that keeps the story alive and interesting while the attention to detail is excellent. This is evidenced by the varied forms that the un-dead take, like Patchwork who is a living Voodoo doll and Fade who has always to be seen and thought of by people top reinforce her own reality or risk "Fading" out of existence.
This is re-inforced by a subtle and dry humor along with a really great style of writing that makes Nekropolis very hard to put down.
The novel brings to mind elements of Dirk Gently (by Douglas Adams) combined with elements of Sin City. The humour, pace, intelligence, style and enjoyable characters all combine to create an unmissable book, highly recommended.
Review by Harriet
This review is based on the short story Necropolis, which Nekroplis is based on.
Ever wonder where the creatures of myth and legends went when humanity became too aggressive and technologically advanced. They used a portal to take them to another realm and built the great city of Necropolis which is formed in the shape of a pentagram. Each point on the Pentagram is ruled by a Dark Lord who has dominion of the creatures in his holding. Vampires, lycanthropes, witches, shades and zombies co-exist in an uneasy peace policed by the Sentinels, eight foot Golems.
While working on a serial killer case, Detective Matt Adrian follows the murderer into Necropolis where he metes out justice before he is killed and becomes a self-willed intelligent zombie. Preservative spells to keep him from rotting away fail and Matt has two days left to find a way to restore his body. Devona, the daughter of Master Vampire Lord Galm, hires him to find the Dawn that was stolen from her father’s collection. It could destroy Necropolis by bringing light into a world that knows only darkness. Matt hopes that Galm would be so grateful that he would find a way for the ex-policeman to keep on existing. Of course there are various people and creatures that would rather see them dead than succeed.
NECROPOLIS as a dark fantasy book that doesn’t take its plot too seriously so it will appeal to fans of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series with its witty puns, satiric humor and eccentric characters. It is an interesting world to visit and the hero of Tim Waggoner’s work is a very likeable being (for a zombie that is), one that readers will want to read about in future novels centered at the magical city of NECROPOLIS.
Written on 21st August 2009 by Ant .