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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ritual, Alchemy, World War 1 and a missing book collector.
The Wanderer in Unknown Realms is a well written and eerie short story. The plot spins around the search for a missing book collector, Lionel Maulding, and the mystery surrounding a rare 'Atlas' for which it appears he paid a huge sum of money. Into the mix arrives the character of Soter who has been hired to investigate the matter. Once Soter arrives at the crumbling,...
Published 23 months ago by JK

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great horror story - Pity about the ending
The Wanderer in Unknown Realms is John Connolly's much publicised new Kindle Single, a horror story of novella length that should really be a novel. He's a brilliant writer, so I wasn't surprised to be engaged with a world of Dickensian characters (the lawyer Quayle, the sinister booksellers Dunwidge and Daughter) all caught up in a spine tingling plot. Soter - a world...
Published 23 months ago by The Book Witch


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ritual, Alchemy, World War 1 and a missing book collector., 26 May 2013
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JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
The Wanderer in Unknown Realms is a well written and eerie short story. The plot spins around the search for a missing book collector, Lionel Maulding, and the mystery surrounding a rare 'Atlas' for which it appears he paid a huge sum of money. Into the mix arrives the character of Soter who has been hired to investigate the matter. Once Soter arrives at the crumbling, Gothic, Bromdrum Hall with it's seemingly 'ghostly' happenings the plot opens up into the world of alchemy, the frantic world of occult book collecting and ritual. I'm not going any deeper into the plot except to say the background of World War 1 with it's trenches full of mud and blood is beautifully worked and an ideal stage for this mystery to be set against. I'll also have to give great credit to John Connolly for his fantastic characters who are a mix of the likeable and the 'really not'.

Connolly has managed to produce a dark, extremely surreal, story which spins the reader from the impact of the Great War up into the realms of Alistair Crowley, Magick and the, possible, rebirth of someone not at all pleasant!. Plenty of brooding atmosphere and a slow building tension which is superbly done when you consider this is a short story. I'm trying so hard not to give spoilers.

My only word of caution; don't expect Charlie Parker or a host of gun slinging, demonic, anti-heroes. The Wanderer isn't a departure from what Connolly does best but it's written in a different style. He's put a complete spin on his usual themes and I was reminded of H.P. Lovecraft, travel through different realms, which I enjoyed. There's some gore and moderate violence with slight horror elements which are unlikely to shock but; The Wanderer in Unknown Realms is a decent short story for any fan of 'weird fiction'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Connolly channels Lovecraft, 27 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Connolly is an excellent writer, his Charlie Parker series successfully melds Chandleresque detective fiction with supernatural horror.

This fantastic little short story is set in the 20's featuring an ex-soldier dealing with PTSD investigating the disappearance of an old gentleman.

It moves along at great pace, Connolly's strengths being character driven plot and excellent prose really set the scene despite things going 'weird' as the tale progresses.

Some fans of Connolly may not necessarily like the twists and turns of the plot, his usual work seems more 'grounded' and 'real' (despite the subject matter), however I thought this was a great and immensely readable short-story.

One gripe on here, is the seeming abruptness of the end. I can understand why others would like more confrontation and definite resolution. I am torn on this. I am not certain there would have been a conclusion that would fit the story. Additionally, it is very much written in the style of Victorian/Edwardian 'weird' fiction, with endings potentially vague and abrupt and the heroes not necessarily triumphing. Susan Hill's ghost stories are always written in a similar vein (irrespective of their contemporary/historical setting).

This aside I think it is an excellent story, well written and without a Parker novel out this year, I hope there will be more short stories featuring various characters to fill the gap.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great!, 26 May 2013
This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Loved it. Only downside was that it wasn't a full novel. Can't wait for his next books. I'm surprised there's not more reviews on here
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great horror story - Pity about the ending, 2 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
The Wanderer in Unknown Realms is John Connolly's much publicised new Kindle Single, a horror story of novella length that should really be a novel. He's a brilliant writer, so I wasn't surprised to be engaged with a world of Dickensian characters (the lawyer Quayle, the sinister booksellers Dunwidge and Daughter) all caught up in a spine tingling plot. Soter - a world war one veteran, shell-shocked and bereaved, works as a private detective and takes on the case of missing Lionel Maulding, an elderly country gentlemen with a taste for antiquarian books.

Soters search takes him into the world of arcana and rare occult books. Soon he begins to experience the occult world for himself and has moments when he doubts his sanity. Lionel Maulding had been on the trail of a book so rare, so dangerous, that it has eluded generations of occult specialists. The Atlas of Unknown Realms has the power to change the space time continuum and re-write the nature of reality. Soter soon has reason to fear that the book has been found and opened when time begins to bend around him and horrific creatures materialise out of the darkness.

At this point I was really gripped. I wanted to know what had happened to Lionel Maulding and how the world was going to be saved - hopefully by Soter. But the novella's ending is a complete let-down and unfortunately ruined the whole for me. Maybe others will disagree. I'm not going to do a spoiler - but I think it was a cop-out!

There are wonderful, creepy illustrations by Emily Hall that make the production of this book a class act.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad ending, 12 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
The read was good, but the ending was terrible, it made you feel that you wasted your time reading the book
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4.0 out of 5 stars inspired read similar to lovecraft, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the setting of the book and the very atmospheric descriptions of London and it smog, some very interesting character where portrayed and you can fully engage with the main character and his twisted decent in to possible madness
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a Charlie Parker fan..., 26 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
..so this is crying out for a sequel for Mr Soter.
Another Victorian 'penny dreadful', please, Mr Connolly.
He still has 3 bullets.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 12 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Pure John Connolly - just the right amount of scary and fab story lines - wish more writers were like him
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5.0 out of 5 stars At his best, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
dark frightening read. I would have liked this to be longer after reading anything by John Connolly I am always left wanting more
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3.0 out of 5 stars A ( deliberately ) old fashioned type read., 10 April 2014
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This review is from: The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I quite enjoyed this, although the style of writing is deliberately 'old fashioned'....a bit like Dennis Wheatley or H.P. Lovecraft...
If you like either of these you'll enjoy this well enough..
I read it about 6 months ago, and to be honest I remember enjoying it at the time but it's not a story that is likely to stick in the memory, good to pass a few hours...( It's fairly short ) but not one that I would highly recommend....
In fact if you are looking at this because you are a fan of the Charlie Parker series of novels, don't....It's nothing at all like those novels ( which are excellent ), but it's worth a read.....Not great, but just ok....
Cheers,
Bob
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