Most Lovecraft follow-ons tend to copy the mythos, the style, even the wording, of the orginal. As if the Greater Universe--that Man Was Not Meant to Know because it is Too Big For Us--is somehow LESS diverse than we pygmy insects are.
Thomas Fuller avoided that trap, giving us a different view into another realm of that dark place. And gave us people we care about to see it.
If you're looking for "Call of Cthulhu 23," you might want to look elsewhere. There isn't a slimy tentacled horror in sight. And descent into madness isn't one of the major plot points. As one of the reviews below suggests, this isn't a Lovecraft pastiche. More of a logical extension.
In THE DANCER IN THE DARK, Fuller and Strickland show us real people trying to deal with a terrible wrongness. A workmanlike and artistic (both!) blending of Lovecraft's "the world is more than you know--or want to know" theme with a real world full of real people with their own concerns--some petty, some not.
A good, solid start to the series he hints at. Believable science, believable characters, and a situation that's complex enough to match the science and the characters.
The prose style is a bit clunky in places--it reminded me in some ways of THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, before Tom Clancy got his polish. Not enough to make it worth putting down, and I expect him to get better in the next one.
And yeah, I'm gonna get the next one.
I will pay HEART'S DESIRE the highest complement I can give a book based on a series:
Reading it, I thought I was watching an episode filmed with a bigger-than normal budget.
Seriously. The characterization was spot-on. The situation was one you could see happening in the series. The author avoided the "I have a greater vision than the producers" trap with grace. Even the characters' growth (and there was some) was in directions that made perfect sense--and fit the rest of the series perfectly. It was like finding an episode I'd missed the first time.
And at the same time, it wasn't "more of the same." The setting was different and interesting, with hints of a whole new group of minor System Lords that could be explored in later books without stepping on any existing plotlines. I find myself hoping the author will try it--I've never been in love with the school of thought that says every new story has to be grander and scarier than the last. Why not a few "And then there was the time we..." tales?
Like this one?