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Dead Ground Paperback – 1 May 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Big Engine; paperback / softback edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903468019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903468012
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,384,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

...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.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dead Ground is set in the fictitious Condal Islands, in the South Pacific, a place that was once the outer limit of humanity, the furthermost reach of eastward Polynesian migration. As on the similarly remote Easter Island, there are strange statues carved out of rock, left behind by a vanished people, and the novel describes how the arrival of an archaeological expedition upsets the balance of man and spirit, and unleashes an ancient horror.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting idea, but full of clichés. The characters are stock, and very predictable. The story itself is not bad,
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Maybe I haven't read enough fantasy/horror to be critical, but I really loved this book. It is well-written, with good grammar and sentence structure, and the narrative flows well - it draws you through the story nicely, and the creepiness quotient slowly builds through the book. Chris builds an atmospheric picture and the end, when it comes, is perhaps slightly predictable but horrifically well-described. The ending is a bit enigmatic, which I found slightly frustrating, but it does leave the way open to a sequel. I agree with one of the other reviewers - it would make a good film.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book, Good storyline and very well written.
Add: I would like to see a sequel, also would make a good film.
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