With Tom Taylor presumed dead and Wilson's estate up for auction, what else can Lizzie and Savoy do but try to steal what they need from it? Specifically Lot 57. Lizzie provides a diversion so that Savoy can surreptitiously photograph the layout of the auction house where everything is on display for inspection. And while they are mulling everything over in the safety of a small diner, the wayward wanderer himself unexpectedly returns after his absence of three months, bursting on the scene from inside a glass of water!
Repairing to another location, Tom tells them his whale of a story. When Savoy asks if he's found "the Source", Tom says he has, and that he thinks that it's people. People who read a story and get something out of it. Maybe even give it back.
Lizzie and Savoy convince Tom, who wishes nothing to do with his father's estate, why they need Lot 57, and he reluctantly concurs. They break into the auction house, where everything is waiting to be auctioned off the following evening, and quite an interesting haul there is, including a sensory deprivation tank and a stuffed rabbit. But the best laid plans go awry, as they often do, and when the auction begins, there is a valuable new addition to the collection--Tom Taylor himself. With Lizzie and Savoy close at hand, as collateral evidence that Tom is the real deal.
Afterward, with the journals in hand, Tom has to do some serious reading, in order to glean anything from them. The trouble is, there are thirty damn volumes. And his father's writing isn't necessarily linear, and he doesn't always get to the point. An accidental discovery while in the public library, gives them a potentially useful tool to use for those areas of the journals that are sparse in details, a firsthand glimpse into what was.
Tom is convinced that a comic book character from long ago by the name of Tinker holds some clue to what they seek, so he insists on pursuing the lead because he feels his father's mention of it means something. Meanwhile, Pullman's employer is unhappy with the results of the auction. But not for long.
Tom, Lizzie and Savoy travel into the past in order to arrive at answers in the present; they make a new friend, and reconnect with an old one.
The deeper we get into the heart of the story, the more exciting this series gets. The premise of the power in the written word is an intoxicating one, dizzyingly brought to life by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, for that is the magic behind everything. And the power that everyone wants to control.
In this volume, we see a lot more of Tom's father, Wilson Taylor, than ever before, all linked with the superhero Tinker, as Tom seeks to learn the truth of his parentage, of his birth. But time is running out, as the bad guys seem to be closing in, and people who have ever been a part of the story are being snuffed out.
Despite his fears of what may be revealed, Tom pushes on. He has grown a great deal, as a character, since we first met him, with the help of Lizzie and Savoy. He's stronger, and more mature, coming into his own as a man, something that was lacking from his life before. It isn't easy to examine one's own life in such detail, perhaps to learn unpleasant truths about his father, and maybe himself. But this is the stuff that makes heroes, and Tom has definitely become the hero in his own story, at last.
This is a fascinating read which only gets better and better, and is wonderfully illustrated by the talented Peter Gross, whose artwork drew me, as much as the writing, to Mike Carey's Lucifer series. This is one seriously imaginative series. It ranks among my all-time favorites, and is a definite keeper.
Can't wait to read the next volume, which comes out October 23.