11 April 2015

Review: Eutopia

Eutopia by David Nickle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On one hand, if HP Lovecraft were to write a a modern-day eugenics tale, it might look a little like this.

On the other, if HP Lovecraft were to write a modern-day eugenics tale, it would look little like this.

The book goes in your face with the ideas, the racial animosity, the anger and hate and all the fixings that go with the eugenicist movement in the beginning of this plot, but also attach a very New Weird twist to it with horror and supernatural elements. While I'm unsure if it's exactly the point, the use of the racism as a skewer toward Lovecraft's own beliefs tend to sit in the front seat of the tale, and it comes across as more shocking unless you know that context going in (and even so, the habit to overstate the impact of Lovecraft's views on his fiction does seem to arrive here as well).

On a whole, though, the problem with the story is that it only sort of works. When you really dive into the more horror elements, the writing is riveting and superb. The rest, well, I can give or take a lot of it. As with much of the New Weird, there's a lot of exposition that has some questionable relation outside of detailing the edges of the story, and when the story is fairly straightforward, it's not as necessary. It could have absolutely used a trim.

As someone who loves the Greater Mythos, and likes seeing it played with, I'm not against this book as much as I'm just not really for it. It was a bit of an unfortunate slog for me most of the time, and that took away from the great parts of the book.

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