The Lazarus Gate, by Mark A. Latham is a beautiful thing to be holding in your greedy reader's hands. Although the genre's a little hard to pin down on this one. I went ahead with Science Fiction, but Steampunk would work. You could almost call it horror and its certainly a mystery. Still, one thing you can be sure about it that The Lazarus gate is a well written and thought out adventure that rips into the reader without letting go.
Captain John Hardwick returns to London in 1890 after being horribly tortured in Burma. He is a scarred and uncertain man. Traumatized and without direction, he is enlisted by a secret society, which works as protectors of the crown. What begins as him tracking down anarchist bombers becomes a journey into the unknown and the supernatural.
John becomes exposed to a plot where people from a parallel plane seek to enter and take over ours. The primary reason they wish to do so is because their world has been overtaken by mystic evils and humanity is doomed. One of the many problems John quickly discovers is the people from the other plane can come through and kill their double on his world and then take their place. Soon he wonders who can be trusted.
He needs to learn more, but instead discovers
more than he wished. His is tortured, shot, and finds that his enemies are made from some of the people from his past. Such facts threaten to not only take his life, but perhaps his mind, until John finds love and help through the ranks of mystic seers. He discovers the threat to his world is not only real, but if he does act soon, will be beyond his means to stop. But how can one man without allies, he can trust, stop a whole army?
I might have told you too much there, but I think you will be alright. This book packs a serious punch, but does not hurry the reader up either. Unlike my review, it is a slow built. You learn about John and his history. You are forced to piece together these unknown threads, which make little sense. The book takes it time setting up this world. No real downsides unless you need things to move at a Hollywood action movie pace. There is loads of action here, but also mood and development.
Titan found me another 5 Star and Yig bless them for it. I have to give this one 5 stars because, well, it is a perfect novel. I really liked John, who is strange mix of motivation and honor, but is also weak at times, sensitive, and vulnerable. I really hope Latham makes this into a series. I would eat up anything else he sends our way. Thanks to both Latham and Titan for making sure we have books like these to enjoy our summers with.