Dead Ground Paperback – 1 May 2001
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...this tale of demonic transgressions and heroism possesses enough H. Rider Haggard and Robert Louis Stevenson verve and verisimilitude to capture your imagination. -- Paul di Filippo, Asimov's, December 2002
Amies has tapped a seldom-used mythological vein as the basis for his novel, and as a result has created something quite distinctive... -- Tim Pratt, Locus
In style the book is an adventure rather than a horrorfest, one whose work setting and style is reminiscent of the works of Rider Haggard. -- Kathy Taylor, Vector, May/June 2002
There's an effective sense of place, with an interesting pantheon of Polynesian gods whose conflicts are echoed on Earth... -- David Langford, SFX, April 2002
This is a pacey, well-written novel with a commendable lack of padding. -- Liz Williams, Interzone, April 2002
From the Back Cover
Dead Ground is the terrain you can't see. It's marked that way on a map because the mapmakers couldn't see into it. Dead Ground is the ghost space inside our heads. The bit where the monsters are real.
The Condals are the smallest of the Pacific island groups, a few hundred miles south of the sea lanes; the back end of the British Empire. Now an archaeological expedition is here to open a mysterious structure sacred to Taharoa, the Sea God of the islanders. Even before they begin, people start dying. Museum conservator Allan Delmar discovers the writings of a reclusive former schoolmaster which speak of terrible things that happened in the islands centuries ago, and which he says will happen again. Only the long-awaited hero Roho will save the islands. But who is Roho?
Sun, sea, palm trees and a modern feel of imperial exhaustion and decline which merges seamlessly into the much darker forces at work.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The story takes place in the 1930s, and there is a stench of decaying empire about the isolated islands, with their opium-addicted white governor. Against this backdrop unfolds an intricate and highly original tale of the supernatural. Wheatley and Lovecraft are clear influences, but the convincing and well researched setting gives the story a unique twist.
If I have a criticism it is that the frequent switches of point of view can make the characters hard to distinguish at times, but once you have come to understand the conflicting forces at work in the Condals, this is a gripping tale which builds to a powerful and satisfying conclusion.
but ends abruptly, as if there might be a sequel. I enjoyed reading it, but found myself predicting the next
happening all the time, and recognising typecast characters, like the red-haired, large Scotsman, who is
mysterious because he has been travelling the Pacific islands in tramp steamers as a ship's doctor. (This is a
story set in the early 1900s).
A cross between a crime novel and a horror story, not quite pulling it off. I'll be interested enough to read
any new book by the author to see what his other works are like.
Add: I would like to see a sequel, also would make a good film.