The literary duo of Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon are back with the next in the Hidden Cities series, and after the paltry excuse of the last book, The Chamber of Ten, The Shadow Men is a return to what the two do best: great storytelling, with some fun characters, and one crazy plot. Readers will not be disappointed with this next installment.
The Shadow Men focuses on the historic and wonderful city of Boston. Jim is a rich and talented artist, who has the best wife in the world and a darling daughter he can’t get enough of, but he has also painted strange depictions of Boston, a different city that bears little resemblance to the real one. When Jim takes a nap during the day, while his wife and daughter go shopping, his wakes up to find himself in an altered world: his fancy apartment now looks totally different, and there is no evidence of his ever having had a daughter or being married. Jim’s world quickly falls apart as he tries to work things out.
This Boston seems different, but it is actually Jim and his life that is different, but there is one other person who is in the same predicament: Trixie, a close friend. Together they wonder what has happened to them – physically they look different also – but the more they find out, the more it seems like Jim’s wife and daughter never existed. They visit the oracle of Boston to discover that there are other Bostons out there, parallel ones, and it appears that his wife and daughter have somehow passed into one of them. But time is running out and they will need to get them back soon or everything will come crashing down. Then there are the Shadow Men, those dark shadows without faces who are chasing them.
The Shadow Men is Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon at their best, reminding readers there are still some great and fantastic stories out there to be told, making them wonder if our world is really as cut and dry and normal as it seems.
Originally written on October 13, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.
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