Joe Golem and the Drowning City

Molly McHugh is a bright young girl in the drowning city of lower Manhattan. She's Felix Orlove's assistant and witness to his true talent in contacting the dead, until a being from another dimension connects through Felix, killing him. Thus begins the wild, weird romp of Joe Golem and the Drowning City. As Molly flees from the strange man-shaped, gas-masked creatures sent by Dr. Cocteau to capture her, she is rescued by Joe, a hulking, super-strong man with a mysterious past and an even more mysterious benefactor--who takes Molly in as the last great hope in saving the universe from the mind-boggling horror from beyond.

Joe Golem is the second collaboration between Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden (after 2007's Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire). Mike Mignola may best be known for his Hellboy comic book series and its various spinoff titles, and this story is sparingly illustrated in his trademark style, filled with heavy contrast, tentacles and Lovecraftian horrors at every turn, while Golden applies his experience with dark fantasy and teen thriller novels to the story with good effect.

The sense of dread here is palpable, with both prose and picture creating the mood. The characters are both over the top and disturbingly realistic, and the city itself, shown within the upper stories of older buildings in the flood area, reinforces the plot and the tone of the novel. Fans of deep characterizations and quirky tales will enjoy this tale of weird science fiction. --Rob LeFebvre, freelance writer and editor

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