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Novel by Brian Lumley (England) 1984.

Second in a trilogy, begun by Psychomech (1984).

Former blind man Richard Garrison now has tremendous wealth, both inherited from the estate of Thomas Schroeder and through his own making. He has great mind powers, through the tremendous machine Psychomech. And he has the love of Vicki Maler, also formerly blind (and also formerly dead). Life should be a bed of roses. But he is plagued by nightmares threatening to remove his extraordinary powers, he has to share his mind with both Schroeder and his aide Willy Koenig, and he has to contend with the new threat of Charon Gubwa, a mad megalomaniac hermaphrodite who has extrasensory powers to seemingly match his own.

Fact of life: when Brian Lumley decides to handle a concept, it tends to end up as awe-inspiring; and when he handles a cliched concept, he tends to inject enough originality into it that it still ends up as awe-inspiring. His Psychomech was one such awe-inspiring concept and remains so here, but Gubwa the madman with selfish dreams for the world is a cliche, and though Lumley does try to make something different out of him (it?), here lies one of his rare failures. The book is not that bad, the text is as stylish as you would expect, and it is certainly of interest to Lumley fans, but to those expecting my usual four to five star ratings for his work will be disappointed here.

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