Relics by Tim Lebbon
Titan Books, March 2017
Available: Pre-order, paperback and Kindle edition
Tim Lebbon is no stranger to penning genre-twisting tales. He has written the apocalyptic novels Silence, Coldbrook, and The Nature of Balance, and the more fantastic Fallen and Echo City. Now he has hit 2017 hard, with the first book of what promises to be a breathtaking trilogy. Equal parts thriller, horror, and fantasy, Relics showcases Lebbon’s skill at world building. A dark market exists in this world, a place where items that harken back to “The Time”, can be bought and sold. The market is hidden from most of humanity, but those who do know of it seek to collect these artifacts, at all costs.
Angela Gough lives a quiet existence, a happy one, with her lover, Vince. When he disappears, she fears the mundane: a new lover, an accident, or even murder. What she discovers is almost beyond her comprehension; another world exists, and she needs to become a part of it to have any chance of retrieving him alive. On her journey, she discovers unlikely allies: some are human, others are not. Figuring out who is deadly and who she can trust is a challenge, with everyone promising to be a savior to her lover, even while pursuing their own dark agendas. With her partners in adventuring, she begins a journey into the darkness. There, she discovers creatures hidden both in the shadows and right under our noses; some wish for peace, while others seek our destruction. What Angela finds shatters her view of reality; in her quest to find her lover, a new world that might spell disaster for humankind, is converging with ours.
In Relics, Tim Lebbon has created yet another wonderful world for readers to lose themselves in, one that will likely remind of both Gaiman and Barker, yet speeds along with the thriller pace of a James Rollins or John Connelly novel. Lebbon’s writing, as always, seduces his readers, inviting them into his imagination, where they find themselves immersed in a fantastic, horrific roller coaster ride that ends too soon. Luckily, there will be two additional books to allow us back into this world, and complete the journey begun here.
Highly recommended. If you weren’t a fan of Tim Lebbon before, this will likely be the novel to change your mind.
Reviewed by David Simms