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Fury From the Tomb by S A Sidor. Book Review

May 5, 2018

Fury From The Tomb book cover

It’s 1888. A time when it was still possible to make wondrous discoveries of antiquities in ancient Egyptian tombs.

When young Romulus Hugo Hardy sets forth to make his name in the world of Egyptology, little does he know what remarkable and terrifying events his uncovering of a booby-trapped tomb of an ancient sorcerer will set in motion.

After surviving a near-death experience, Rom makes it to America with his cargo of mummies, only to have them stolen by individuals who are as unsavoury as the bevy of reanimated mummies which end up careering around Mexico hell bent on restoring their great leader to his former self.

All that now stands between normality and an impending apocalypse are the hapless and naïve archaeologist, a feisty young woman, an orphaned Chinese busboy and a gunslinger of very dubious character, but with a heart of gold.

Fury From the Tomb is a full-on, red blooded assembly of dead things that should really be dead, but don’t know how to lie down, necrotically-challenged ghouls, the really undead, and the living trying their damnedest to remain that way. In other words, the sort of thing you would sit down and gleefully watch at your local flea pit while your mates try to steal your oversized tub of horrifically sweet popcorn. S A Sidor takes all the cliches in this classic B-movie mashup, throws in a bit of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Nosferatu, The Mummy etc., then really goes to town on them.

The action, in the form of a constant stream of fantastic perils which our heroes must extricate themselves from, is relentless.

The narration of this escapade by Rom reveals him to be the type of pompous individual who cannot understand why his unusual take on Egyptology is not being appreciated by his peers. His attitude and physical capabilities in the role of a hero gradually change and develop during the telling of this outrageous hokum, largely because he is a gentleman and feels compelled to rescue the damsel in distress (who mostly gives a good showing of herself) and the defenceless orphan (who is remarkably stoic and worldly wise). Most of all, Rom’s morality drives him to sort out the mess he feels responsible for.

The characters work really well together as an ensemble cast because their interactions are great, making an effortless and constant shift from humorous to, literally, dead serious dialogue.

Although this is a plot that leaves little to the imagination, you know that you, the reader, are there just to enjoy the ride. But for all that, take a good look at the quality of the writing, because it is far more sophisticated than the rattling good yarn would lead you believe. If the characters could be accused of clichés (which they are, but deliberately and brilliantly so), the descriptions are priceless, “Dawn broke a hot runny egg across the horizon behind us”. The dialogue is crafted with equally as much care.

I’m really looking forward to the next in the series, so bring it on. Meanwhile Fury From the Tomb is another in my comfort reads of the year. Now where’s my popcorn?

Fury From the Tomb was courtesy of Angry Robot, via NetGalley.

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