The Outlands Review
Exploring Far Flung Worlds and Speculative Ideas
Beneath The Rising
Set in an alternative version of 2002, is a story about two friends and their adventures to save Earth from an invasion of Lovecraftian demonic alien gods. It’s an Indiana Jones style romp that visits the oldest library in the world in Fes, Morocco, the ancient city of Carthage, founded by the Phoenicians in the ninth century BC and now part of Tunisia and finally Ninevah, capital of the ancient Assyrian empire, located in modern-day northern Iraq. The friends have to toil through dusty libraries, archeological sites and secret societies to find clues that will identify the location and process for closing a magical portal that is being opened by the “Ancient Ones” who are intent on conquering and destroying Earth.
Joanna Chambers (Jonny), 17, is a child prodigy who holds a dark secret on the origins of her super intelligence. She made a series of inventions and discoveries turning her into a multi millionaire at the age of 9. She is responsible for huge medical advancements that have found cures for Alzheimer’s, cancer and malaria among others. She is a caricature of a nerdy silicon valley billionaire, a celebrity of the sciences. Unfortunately her latest invention, a clean energy device the size of a shoe box, attracts the attention of the Ancient Ones who believe they can use it to get to Earth.
Her best friend Nick Prasad, 18, is the narrator of the story and the complete opposite. He works in a supermarket and has no idea where he is going in life. There is clear friction with his high achieving best friend who he also secretly likes romantically. They were brought together at the age of six when they were both involved in a terrorist incident where they were the only survivors.
The Ancient Ones are all powerful god like aliens. We are introduced to Drozanoth, their representative on Earth, a humanoid scaly creature hidden behind a cowl that is hunting them down and small tentacled slimy things with glowing red eyes that are involved in an attack on Nick’s home. The Ancient One’s are not unknown to people on Earth and have attempted to get to Earth on previous occasions. There is the secret Ssarati Society that used to worship them and are the experts on their history. They also have their enemies, the Elder Gods, who fought them on Earth a long time ago.
Although there are two more volumes, A Broken Darkness and The Void Ascendant, this could be a stand alone novel with a very clear conclusion for both characters story arcs. Premee acknowledged that it was planned as a stand alone in this Paul Semel interview and that she had problems categorising her story with her publisher as there are hints of cosmic horror, fantasy and sci-fi all in one. I feel pretty good with the cosmic horror category.
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