Read The Lazarus Gate by Mark A. Latham Online

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London, 1890. Captain John Hardwick, an embittered army veteran and opium addict, is released from captivity in Burma and returns home, only to be recruited by a mysterious gentlemen’s club to combat a supernatural threat to the British Empire.This is the tale of a secret war between parallel universes, between reality and the supernatural; a war waged relentlessly by an eLondon, 1890. Captain John Hardwick, an embittered army veteran and opium addict, is released from captivity in Burma and returns home, only to be recruited by a mysterious gentlemen’s club to combat a supernatural threat to the British Empire.This is the tale of a secret war between parallel universes, between reality and the supernatural; a war waged relentlessly by an elite group of agents; unsung heroes, whose efforts can never be acknowledged, but by whose sacrifice we are all kept safe....

Title : The Lazarus Gate
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781783296804
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Lazarus Gate Reviews

  • Peter Stock
    2018-10-03 03:32

    Rating: 2.20I really wanted to love this book. Partly because the beginning was very well done and also because I bought this book with no idea what it would be like (spending money for it nonetheless). But after page 150ish, my interest in the story and characters deteriorated slowly.After the main character almost died the first 3 times it was believable and intense. But after him almost dying another 6 or so times I just got bored and knew that he will end up being ok and in reality, there is no threat to him. None of the moments in this bok necessarily caught me off guard, because it was such a carefully formulaic novel. Danger, freedom, danger, freedom, danger, freedom (for 400 pages). It got boring.The writing was good at first. I liked the descriptions and the dialogue used, but then at around page 150 everything got topsy turvy. Dialogue was used as a crutch to tell us what was happening and the descriptions were repeated constantly. Not to mention quotes that were used waaay too ofter. "We are one" being the most annoying.Aaand the ending. Fuck me sideways that pissed me off.He has some good ideas but seemed to have lost interest in making the later half of the book as interesting as the first half. Overall I don't think I will pick up any books that will soon be in this series.

  • Seregil of Rhiminee
    2018-09-30 00:50

    Originally published at Risingshadow.Mark A. Latham's exciting and richly told novel, The Lazarus Gate, was a most pleasant surprise for me. It's an exceptionally entertaining novel that combines many different elements in an amazing way. It's a veritable page turner that may cause temporary literary addiction, because it hooks the reader from the start and almost forces the reader to stay up until morning, trying to finish it as fast as possible to find out how the story ends.When I began to read this novel I didn't know what to expect from it, because I'd only heard a few things about it and was mostly unaware of its contents. I found myself enjoying the story very much, because it was a gripping and genuinely intriguing story with many twists.To be honest, entertainment-wise this novel is one of the best and most compelling novels I've read this year, because it's first-rate entertainment with plenty of style. It's also one of the best Victorian speculative fiction novels I've ever read due to the fact that the characterisation is good and the author knows how to create an excellent atmosphere. Many Victorian speculative fiction novels have been written during the recent years, but this kind of well-researched, fluently written and entertaining novels are unfortunately rare. This novel is a bit akin to James P. Blaylock's Langdon St. Ives novels in terms of prose, quality and storytelling. It's also slightly reminiscent of the novels written by George Mann.The Lazarus Gate can be categorised as a fantasy novel that combines fantasy, science fiction, weird science, horror and gothic elements with a dash of Sherlock Holmes. It reads like a fantastical blend of Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes.Mark A. Latham blends different elements in a superb way and creates an incredibly fresh story that's full of surprises and twists. When you begin to read this novel, you'll notice that it has clearly been written out of love for storytelling, because it feels exciting and fresh.Here's information about the story:- The prologue: Sergeant Clegg is pursuing anarchists who are responsible for an explosion. When the policemen are about to arrest the anarchists, they disappear and only a body of a man with a mutilated hand is found... Captain John Hardwick is being held captive by Burmese rebels. He is released from the Burmese prison... The Artist has finished painting his latest works and sends his servant on an errand. He also feeds his pets...- John Hardwick returns home, escorted by Captain James Denny. He doesn't know where to live or what to do, because he hasn't had a chance to think about financial matters. He organises his life and gets a message from Sir Toby Fitzwilliam to meet him at the Apollonian Club. He meets Sir Toby who asks him to join a group of investigators to fight a secret war (the group represents various government agencies). He accepts the proposition and joins the group.- John Hardwick begins to investigate the dynamite incidents. The mysterious people in black seem to plague the city and nobody knows anything about them, except that they are always near the explosions. Soon Hardwick finds out that the mysterious happenings may be connected to parallel universes and the dynamiters may not be from our world...This the beginning of a wonderfully written story that's full of entertainment, adventure and surprises.The story flows fluently and effortlessly from start to the amazing finish without any kind of problems. I appreciate it that the author takes his time to introduce the protagonist and the happenings to readers. It's great that he doesn't rush things, but lets the story unfold in a natural and compelling way.The Lazarus Gate is Captain John Hardwick's story and it is told by him. His personal and distinct voice makes the story interesting, because he has his own views about many things. He also makes his own conclusions about certain things.John Hardwick is a fascinating and well-created protagonist, because he's a retired army captain who has an opium addiction. Duty, honour and loyalty mean a lot him, because has served in the army. He's a resourceful man who doesn't give up easily when he's interested in something. He has to think about where his loyalties lie, because he has to be loyal to the army and also to the group of men he's working for. His courage and loyalty are tested when he begins to investigate the explosions.Hardwick's opium addiction is handled well. He was given opium in the Burmese prison and has ever since been addicted to it. He has been cured from his addiction, but he still craves opium. The author writes well about the protagonist's feelings about his addiction and how disgusted he is by his weakness.Hardwick's brutal experiences at the Burmese prison camp have had quite an impact on his life. He is still haunted by what happened there, because he was tortured and treated in a brutal and inhuman manner. Although he was kept alive, he was treated horribly and suffered a lot.I enjoyed reading about John Hardwick's personal life and his family relations. It was especially enjoyable to read about his father and what kind of secrets were revealed about him. It was also interesting to read about his sister and her fate.I also enjoyed reading about Hardwick's detective work and adventures, because his work took him to the streets of London and to such notorious and sinister places as opium dens. He was like a fish out of water in London, because he hadn't been there for a long time. He found himself a bit lost in the middle of dynamiters, gangsters, gentlemen, officers, psychics, thieves, murderers and gypsies. It was enjoyable to read about his investigations, because he met different kinds of people and visited many places.The author writes vividly about the secondary characters. For example, Ambrose Hanlocke - a member of Sir Toby's group - is described as a likeable rogue in a splendid way. The author writes charmingly about him and his traits and shows how boldly he uses the club and its services. Rosanna is also a well-created character, because she's an approriately mysterious gypsy woman who has the gift of Sight. She helps Hardwick in her own unique way.What happened between Hardwick and Rosanna was handled exceptionally well. The author wrote realistically about Hardwick's feelings and his difficult situation. Hardwick had to think about many things when he met Rosanna and found her attractive, because his life had changed, but he still had duties that needed to be taken care of. His feelings were explored in a convincing way.There are many surprises and scenes in this novel that will delight readers. I won't go into details about them in order to avoid writing spoilers, but I'll mention that John Hardwick has quite an adventure ahead of him when he begins to investigate things and meets the Artist. His life changes in many ways during the investigations.Mark A. Latham writes fascinatingly about the war between parallel universes. It was interesting to read about the Othersiders and their society, because their world was similar yet different from our world. Their world was led by an enigmatic dictator called Lazarus who was sworn to lead his people to salvation from the growing esoteric threat that was about to destroy everything. The Othersiders were afraid of the demons that lurked behind the veil, because they were breaking through, and the scientists were having problems with ghostly manifestations and violent explosions of pure chaos (the spiritualists paved the way for these incidents by contacting the dead).The Apollonian Club plays an important part in the story, because John Hardwick is invited there to join a secret group of agents. The author's descriptions of the club and its members are delightfully vivid. Reading about what happened at the club and how the agents worked together was interesting, because the author seemed to have thought of all the necessary details. Everything felt genuine and believable.The meeting between John Hardwick and the Artist is an excellent scene. What happens between these two characters is fascinating and brutal. It was interesting to read about the Artist's talents and his pets, because he was an extraordinary man with a talent for painting the future on canvas. He had terrifyingly deformed pets, which he kept alive by feeding meat to them.There's an authentic and realistic atmosphere in this novel, because the author has a fantastic sense of time and style. He writes beautifully about the places and different people. He pays a lot of attention to minor details and also to certain historical details, but manages to keep the story light and entertaining. His descriptions of the different places are so vivid and vibrant that when you read about them, you can almost feel like you're in Victorian London.There's also an intriguing sense of impending doom in this novel. The author writes surprisingly well about what the agents do to prevent the threat of the Othersiders and in what kind of trouble they find themselves when they try to do their work. The threat of the Othersiders is real and the agents have to do their best to save the world. The ending of this novel reveals how great the threat is and offers readers an astonishingly macabre sight with weirdness that has a Lovecraftian feel to it.One of the best thing about this novel is that Mark A. Latham writes fluently about what kind of dangers and risks are involved in travelling between parallel universes. He writes realistically about what can happen to people when something goes wrong, because the consequences can be terrifying and unexpected.I also want to mention that it's good that the protagonist isn't invincible, but just as vulnerable as any other man. He bleeds and suffers like other men, and he has his own problems and hardships. He also faces treacheries during his work.If you're fascinated by British English and Victorian way of life, you're in for a treat when you begin to read this novel. You most likely won't be able to resist the lure of this novel, but will be totally hooked by it, because Mark A. Latham uses old sayings, experssions and words to emphasise the Victorian atmosphere and way of life. This is great, because it adds a touch of realism to the story that is lacking from several similar kind of novels. I think that readers will be delighted to read about such words as hansom, penny dreadful, Black Maria etc, because they're seldom found in speculative fiction novels.There's wonderfully dry and witty British humour in this novel that I found charming. It's nice that the author has managed to add a bit of humour to his story, because it lightens the story in a fantastic way and makes it even more entertaining.I look forward to reading more stories and novels by Mark A. Latham, because he's a talented wordsmith who writes entertaining speculative fiction. He's a good and passionate storyteller who has plenty of imagination. By the way, if you enjoy this novel and find it interesting, you'll be pleased to know that the second novel will be published during autumn 2016.Mark A. Latham's The Lazarus Gate is an excellent historical speculative fiction novel to readers who love good mystery, adventure and fantasy stories. If you enjoy reading Victorian speculative fiction, this novel will impress you. I was personally very impressed by this novel and the author's storytelling skills, so all I can say is: More, please!Excellent entertainment!

  • Barbara ★
    2018-09-21 19:55

    My biggest problem with this book is that John Hardwick is so not the right person to be a spy. He's naive, too trusting, loyal to a fault, an opium addict (though he is trying to fight this) and suffering from PTSD. Heck he hasn't been back a week from 6 months of being tortured when he is "recruited". So I struggled to believe that this super-secret spy agency picked him to fight the good fight. Just seemed to me that a spy agency would have been better at choosing it's agents.I liked John, in the beginning, and then his character started doing things that went against the character created for him and I found this annoying. I liked the premise but unfortunately the writing didn't match up to the ideal. Definitely not a series I would continue.

  • Daniel Etherington
    2018-09-29 01:55

    2.5 stars.Starts well, with some convincing descriptions of late Victorian London, but then it starts to suffer from some heavy-handedness. Plot lurches forward in fits and starts with characters providing huge chunks of exposition. Some previously unmentioned magical or supernatural device appears to get things out of a corner (a classic problem in certain fantasy fiction; even JK Rowling makes up new spells when things get stuck). The main character suddenly exhibits abilities it's hard to believe they could have mustered or mastered. And Latham can't help himself with repetitive use of some cliched turns of phrase.And much of the action plays out in a cinematic, not literary, way. I can relate to this one, as I've been guilty of it in my own attempts at fiction. Our generation is so informed by big screen SF and fantasy, it's hard not to visualise things in those terms.But overall it's reasonably fun, especially if you like Victoriana and multiversal fiction. In those terms, it fits in with a subgenre along things like elements of Michael Moorcock, Bryan Talbot's Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Warren Ellis's Sliding Albion in The Authority, Vol. 1: Relentless, and it's even reminiscent of His Dark Materials, sharing (borrowing?) elements such as dimensional doors beneath the aurora borealis, heroic gypsies, etc. So yeah, I'm happy with it subgenre wise and it romps along entertainingly, but it probably needed another draft or two to hone out some of the more laboured or cliched points.

  • Debby Kean
    2018-09-27 23:35

    And I couldn't finish it, sadly. I got to the middle and it took such a radically different direction that I decided that life is too short to read rubbish.

  • KevinF
    2018-09-25 20:45

    Really enjoyed this book until the ending. Hated the ending, plus if there is a 2nd book the villain is totally justified in all the bad she does, and I will be hoping she defeats the protagonist.

  • Morgan Wiley
    2018-09-29 23:55

    I liked this book. We read it for our May book club book and we both enjoyed it. Yeah, it's a two-man book club. But we both liked it well enough that we're going to read the sequel, The Iscariot Sanction. Do I think it's the best book I have ever read? No. The best book I have read this year? Nope. I do love the Victorian London setting, which is why I chose it to begin with. The characters are decent. That Ambrose fellow was obnoxious, but there's one in every group. I enjoyed the multi-universe theme and the idea of everyone having a duplicate in the other universes. Strange, but interesting all the same. I almost only gave it three stars but I was on the upper end of 3.5 so I went with four. It could have used some stronger writing. We'll see how the next book plays out as per the book cover, it appears to be a prequel to the first.

  • Laura
    2018-10-10 22:39

    Alternate universe trying to take over our earth. Set in Victorian England. Very well done.

  • Shelby
    2018-10-20 02:55

    If you take Watson from Sherlock Holmes, combine it with with the show Fringe, and sprinkle in a hint of Lovecraft you get this novel. This is a hard novel to explain but I loved it. The writing is well done. I loved the use of Victorian terms, I had to look most of them up, it made the setting feel more authentic. It made getting in to the story easier and more interesting.The characters were also well done. They felt like real people that could have existed. They had their own distinct voices too. The main character, John Hardwick, was very flawed and cleverly so. He was flawed in a very likable way, a related way. He reminded me of John Watson from Sherlock Holmes. Although he had Holmes addictions. The fact that the addiction was forced on him made his character even more interesting. You read about characters choosing to do a drug and getting addicted but he did not choose to take opium. It was forced upon him and now he has to struggle with over coming the urges. This book was full of twist, subtle but addicting twists. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, I hope it does. The plot was intriguing from the very start and got better and better as it went along. One of my favorite parts was when they were trying to explain the concept of a parallel world in Victorian terms/language. The writing was also very good. It flowed well and never felt difficult to read. Over all this was just a wonderful book. I liked everything about it, and i can't think of a single thing I disliked. Also this book falls in to my guilty pleasure reads. Any book set in Victorian era, with a mystery are addicting for me. And throw in supernatural elements even better. But a parallel world is like adding five cherries on top. I highly recommend this book. And I very much look forward to the next book!

  • Laura
    2018-10-21 21:40

    Overall it was interesting enough that it hooked me in the first chapters. However, towards the end I found the main character insufferable and the ending itself...seemed rather lacking and bothered me.

  • Chloe Smith
    2018-09-30 03:27

    The Lazarus Gate is a work of fantasy fiction that follows Captain John Hardwick as he attempts to immerse himself back into civilisation following time spent locked away in captivity by the rebels in Burma. Upon arriving back in London, he is joined up the Apollonian Club – a secret society filled with high-ranking members of society as well as those who have served time in service to Queen and country. The Apollonian Club is an agency much like that of MI5 in that is undertakes tasks to help stop against any threat to Great Britain. It is exclusive and no-one must know about his involvement. As time passes within the club and he embarks upon his first and most crucial task set upon him, Hardwick comes into contact with information that turns his world upside down, information that is almost too hard to believe until theories are presented to him that make everything so much clearer. The Lazarus Gate is a novel about trust, loyalty, family, friendship and betrayal.I enjoyed the concept of The Lazarus Gate as well as the setting that Mark Latham set this novel within. Victorian London is an interesting time to be alive and, coupled with the fantasy/science-fiction/steampunk vibes that Latham implements, this era becomes even more interesting. Though not a lot of the writing centres on the overall setting within this time period, there are clear ties to this era through general observations from our protagonist Hardwick. We are informed that people travel around in horse and cart, there are oil lamps and candles with the occasional building housing electricity, there are tailors, tophats, and canes. All of these remind me of this time-period and are usually clear indicators of this. I am glad that Latham mentioned the setting and era in this way, focusing on the more important issues at hand within the novel whilst subtly implementing all of this crucial information into the general prose. Latham however, does focus on setting at more important moments within the novel, in particular the scenes where Hardwick is facing off against the enemy and a wider picture is needed to fully understand the scope of the attacks made against Victorian London.Without going into too much detail about the general concept, it was intriguing to see such fantastical elements within this time period merging old with new. Latham takes on elements of the Victorian era and puts a spin on them by focusing on the importance of the rise of spiritualists, fortune-tellers, and those with “the Sight” and fusing them with science fiction and impossible possibilities during that time. It adds a sense of awe as you realise how far these attacks are reaching and why they are being carried out in the first place. Latham also adds twists and turns through the combination of these genres culminating in the information that transforms Hardwick’s life. It was a nice little addition that I didn’t see coming but still made complete sense through the way that it was introducedThe character of Captain John Hardwick is a likable one. Hardwick is flawed (something that he is aware of and tries to hide), he is altogether too trusting of those around him, but he is also friendly and a hard-worker filled with fears at his past as well as where this new future will lead him. Hardwick develops well within this novel, overcoming his flaws and beginning to realise who he can and cannot trust – an issue that transpires across the entirety of the novel and plays as a major theme within the overall narrative. However, it is this inability to know who to trust that kept me on my feet throughout the novel, questioning each new character and the actions of all of the characters involved, especially when the truth about the Lazarus Gate and who the attackers are is revealed

  • June Pace
    2018-09-22 19:42

    This is a tough one...I want to give three and a half stars...the first half of the book was really intriguing..wanted to keep reading, loved the protagonist...REALLY loved him. However, almost a third of the way through came a shocking, creepy situation. I had NO idea the story would go there. It really creeped me out, but I read on regardless...really wanted to see if it changed up, which it did. The main reason to read is because this guy is one magnificent writer! Seriously, just perfection, beautiful. His choice of wording, flavor...all of it, just remarkable. One of the best writers I've read, it was poetry to me...it was just some of the story went to a really weird place. Then we get out of major creepy, torture stuff and end up with Gypsies..but this was fun. And then the ending, which took several endings to get to, was kind of ..oh, that's it. We never learn why the other world is hell, and the horrors that make it so...which would have been nicer to understand the drive to take over our "earth"...but all in all, a really clever idea, super extremely well written, great lead character and bit parts...just a little to disjointed and icky torture spidery worm man stuff for my taste...I started to read the sequel and just couldn't go for it at the moment...may attempt another time. I really needed space from the first one and it's weird darkness...but again...AWESOME writer!! Oh! and I'm told it's considered a bit of a Steampunk novel...?? No, other than the time period, nothing, and I mean nothing steampunk about it...so there you have it.

  • Charles Prepolec
    2018-10-09 20:27

    Interesting read, with a very strong central concept, but ultimately not quite as engaging as I'd hoped, and that's unfortunate as the period and SF/F tropes are entirely within my wheelhouse.1890: A long-suffering soldier, Captain John Hardwick, is released from torturous captivity in Burma and returns home to an England ravaged by seemingly terrorist activity and is immediately recruited into a shadowy government sanctioned agency called the Apollonian Lycea (very much along the lines of Kim Newman's take on The Diogenes Club) and tasked with tracking down those responsible for the outrages ravaging London. Unfortunately for Hardwick, when a body disappears in a flash of light at Marble Arch, the so-called terrorists are quickly shown not to be bomb-happy Fenians, or like any other group of known radicals, but prove to be members of an expeditionary force from...dun dun dun...a parallel universe! Hardwick must come to terms with the notion and find a way to stave off the approaching incursion while dealing with his own personal ghosts and demons.As I said, interesting read with a great SF/F multiverse concept at it's heart, very clearly going for a a portion of Mark Hodder's market share, but...it fell a bit short for me in terms of execution. The main problem, I think, stems from the characterization of the protagonist Captain Hardwick. Well, to be fair, none of the characters are particularly well-developed, but surely Hardwick, as protagonist, needed something more. He's a bit of a whiny prig with daddy issues who has his ass handed to him more times than not in physical conflicts, and repeatedly makes blindingly obvious poor choices, which makes him something of a hard character to root for throughout the length of the novel. Other issues are the pacing and perfunctory 'style' to the writing. We spend an inordinate amount of time getting to know the largely uninteresting Capt. Hardwick, and his sketched in supporting players (Stalwart soldier Jim Denny and flamboyant fellow Apollonian Ambrose Hanlocke, the latter meant to be a sort of dashing Rudolf Rassendyll type) and the rest of the Apollonian setup, before really getting into the meat of the matter. It wouldn't have been a problem, really, had the characters been half as vibrant as their respective inspirations (Mark Hodder, for instance, occasionally goes off on all sorts of info regarding Richard Francis Burton and the poet Swinburne, without ever losing my interest) but Latham doesn't quite run with the characters and the potential isn't fully realized. It isn't until the introduction of the gypsies, specifically love interest Rosanna, where things start to move. But even then Hardwick's lacklustre character and ultimately whiny personality, kind of kill the action. Quite honestly, the guy is a douchebag and just never gets past that, so it's hard to engage as a reader. While mediocre characters can be forgiven, when presented with style in terms of writing, Latham, while highly competent, falls a bit short in prose styling.Now, I've been fairly critical here, but don't get me wrong, it's a fun premise and not bad at all, just a bit flat around the edges. There's serious potential for the series, so I'll definitely pick up the second book - The Iscariot Sanction - when it is released in September 2016.

  • Melissa
    2018-10-03 22:52

    See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksCaptain John Hardwick fought for King and Country in a dozen different countries. Captured and held in Burma, his release is unexpected as is the subsequent recruitment by a mysterious gentlemen’s club. The club battles the forces of the supernatural that pose a threat not only to England but to the world as well and Hardwick is their newest member.Dangerous explosions have rocked the city of London, the perpetrators seeming to disappear as quickly as they appear. Some believe the bombings to be random, others attribute them to less than savory groups run amok; yet others believe the truth to be far different. And far more dangerous.I have always enjoyed books set in the Victorian age, whether they are factual or fantasy based. I can pretty much guarantee that if the book says it’s set in the Victorian age, I will give it a read. The Lazarus Gate was no exception. I had heard of the author Mark Latham before but had never read one of his books before, until now. And once again I was pleasantly pleased with what I found.We are introduced to Captain Hardwick just as he is being released from his Burma prison. When he returns to London, things seem almost too perfect as he is immediately able to find lodgings and even a job. Captain Hardwick questions his good luck almost immediately and it is this ceaseless questioning that serves him as he is assigned to the most recent spate of bombings. Many of his peers in the club take the events at face value but Hardwick believes there is something more. Something beneath the surface and he finds he is not far from the truth.Too many details will of course give the ending away, and that would spoil all the fun. Mr. Latham does an excellent job of leading the reader down one lane of thinking, making them believe they know the who and the how of what happens next, only to have the truth be something quite different. Several times I thought I knew how the scene would play out only to be surprised.Lush descriptions of the city and surrounding countryside truly bring the setting of the story to life. The prose is evocative of novels from the Victorian era itself, being both gritty and fanciful. I found the beginning a little slow but once the action really started I found it difficult to put the book down.While this is the first book in a series, it easily can stand on its own as a single novel. The ending is done in a way that even if the reader does not pick up the second book they are not left feeling at loose ends. Plot threads are tied up neatly enough but little pieces are left for a second or third book to explore.Fast paced and nicely written, I enjoyed The Lazarus Gate. Fans of sci-fi and fantasy type genres will want to give this one a read.

  • Themightyx
    2018-09-30 23:48

    I read this on a whim, as I enjoy science fiction in every stripe, from steam to cyberpunk, from space operas to hard sci-fi to the most improbable predictive writing, I love the genre.Victorian writing is often verbose, perhaps even long-winded, but the sentences and scenes are architecturally sound. So reading the back which promised an immersive Victorian style made me quite excited to give the book a try. I found myself disappointed initially. The author's writing style was...abrupt. People launched into dialogue with nary a preamble, which is jarring in "Victorian" writing. The plot had a tendency to leap forward in fits and starts, and a perceptive reader (which I am only sometimes) will have figured out most of the plot's big storytelling bombs halfway through the novel. As a person who generally doesn't pay scrupulous attention to detail, I found I had figured out most of the "shocking" stories pages and pages before the actual shoe dropped. Combine it with a main character I found comically weak-minded and silly, and the book struggles to rise above mediocrity.I won't flat-out condemn it as awful, because Mr. Latham seemed to hit his stride somewhat better about halfway through the book, and scenes which, at the start of the book, would have been terse flowed more naturally. Conversations and characters seemed less like antsy children shoved in an uncomfortable situation, and more like actual adults who KNEW each other and how to navigate society. However, to suit plot development he drops a fairly important character into the reader's lap in the last third of the book, which was rather like having cold water dumped over one's head. Like I said, it's not AWFUL, and I suppose if you're bored and like "steampunk" (really, this didn't fit my own definition of steampunk, but that's my own opinion), give it a shot. It was a fast enough book to read, but not terribly compelling storytelling. If, however, you like a tightly knit plot, well-defined characters, and a Victorian style, this novel is assuredly not for you.

  • ash
    2018-10-14 20:57

    I had been looking forward to this book for awhile now. It was not what I expected, I say that. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, I really did but a lot of the material I had read in Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials and the Sally Lockhart books. It was a good book but the tone was too similar to Pullman's, I have to admit. Other than that I really did enjoy the book. Latham wrote very elegantly and all the characters were very diverse and colourful. John Hardwick was a disturbed, brave and clever heroine, very refreshing. His relationship with the other characters change and grew throughout the book and there were plenty of little surprises and changes throughout the book. Latham's description of London was gritty, brutal and very real. His descriptions of Burma and the torture that Hardwick endured was very powerful and masterfully written. The characters were described differently and with a deft hand. Besides the aforementioned problems I personally had with the plot, it was a creative story, and very fun to read. Latham really did know how to create a page turning adventure that gripped the reader, filling them with various emotions. Definitely an author I will read more of, I hope he creates another story to share :)

  • Blodeuedd Finland
    2018-10-07 01:30

    This started with John returning from Burma. A former solider suffering from PTSD since he had been tortured and was no addicted to opium. Yeah, it was not good to be John. The setting was Victorian London. A very nice setting for a mystery if I may add.And the story is about John getting a new job, a case to work and sets out to solve a mystery.A nice normal historical mystery.Paranormal things going on you say? Poppycock. John seconds that.*read a bit more* Right, I should have trusted that blurb. Balderdash. No, this Victorian mystery just turned weird. And by weird I mean weeeird. There is more things under the heavens than you and I know. John gets beaten, finds an unknown world. Meets new friends, and that mystery is a slippery one. He does question everything and even I turned whaat? another time- Sure threw me a surprise there.So it is a paranormal mystery, and there is an ending. One crisis is averted, but more seems to be coming. Victorian London is not safe.

  • Jim Kerr
    2018-10-04 21:33

    The number of events that need to fall into place for the narrative to continue took its toll on my patience, even though the protagonist, Captain John Hardwick is a likable chap. That being said, he truly is a man steeped in Victorian values. He fights honorably for Queen and Country. The flip side of the coin is that he accepts the notions of class hierarchy, male dominance and British superiority without question. Even when Latham makes Hardwick face these issues, the good Captain is unable to truly question them. However, the fatal flaw, or rather what should have been the fatal flaw, is John Hardwick's unquestioning loyalty to all, even after he is warned of the duplicity all around him. There is no way that a man this stubbornly and deliberately naive should survive the events of the Lazarus Gate.Though Latham's prose is enjoyable, the pacing is good and the parallel universes presented is an effective device, The Lazarus Gate misses the mark.

  • Kristopher
    2018-10-20 19:53

    What starts off as a well written, strong story, ends on its face. The protagonist is moderately likable throughout the book but is not overly deep. His overwhelming sense of loyalty can only be explained by his daddy issues and his opium addiction is glossed over. The protagonists first betrayal is slapped in the readers face rather allowing the reader to discover it. I don't even know where to begin with the the villain, alien technology and ending (which is horrible and goes completely against the character the author spent 390 pages defining).The writing is good, the character is quite intriguing (pages 1-40) but the story is misses it's mark. Decent debut. From this story, I believe Mr. Latham has the ability to become as fine a storyteller as he is a writer.

  • Jen
    2018-10-05 23:29

    This wasn't quite what I was expecting, but still a pretty good read. It is very "heavy" (I can't think of a better way to put it right now...) and it not for someone wanting to start in on the steampunk/fantasy/sci fi genre. You need to be interested in this and have somewhat of an understanding. Not as much came about with the actual supernatural as I thought there would be (I know, there were mediums and gypsy psychics and what have you - but they didn't actually do a whole lot) but a lot of straight up spy/police work. Too many coincidences all over the place as well (and it was pointed out pretty often).

  • Kelly
    2018-09-30 00:27

    This book was almost good. The time period is nice, the writing style and narration is well done. The basic storyline is certainly unique. Unfortunately, it is too long. Too much time is spent on the journey to the climax, leaving the actual climax rushed and unsatisfying. The motivation of the "villans" is conflicting and leaves the reader wondering whom to support, ultimately. The fate of the gypsies at the end is unforgivable. Overall, this is a strange and complex story that winds around seemingly forever and leaves one disappointed at the end.

  • Kaitlin
    2018-10-01 23:53

    A fantastical mystery full of twists and turns. John Hardwick is a soldier returning to London after service in the Orient. Recruited by a mysterious order to investigate supernatural goings on, John is quickly thrust into danger and intrigue. The plot lurches a bit here and there, and the sci-fi gets so convoluted that once in a while I wasn't 100% sure what was going on; but overall an exciting romp through Victorian London.

  • Wayne Schuster
    2018-10-08 19:43

    Well written and engaging story. Strong characters and plot lines. I will enjoy the next book and look forward to its journey. Anyone who have read some of my previous reviews will know I am not a fan of over detailed writing. Mr. Latham has done an excellent job of giving me enough details to create my own Victorian London in which these heroes and villains run through. Thank you sir, I look forward to more.

  • L.E. Doggett
    2018-10-12 21:38

    Well done.Not quite as much excitement and action as some books these days but there is still plenty of it. Suspense and twists and danger for the MC. Emotional action too. He doesn't always do what you might want him to do but still he is likable. A well thought out world, good descriptions, suspense all make fun for the reader.

  • Rin Watson
    2018-10-12 21:28

    If I was only judging this book on the beginning and very end it would gotten at least a 4-star, but the large gap of a middle brought it down. Throughout the whole middle section, John Hardwick was an emotional zombie! Nothing about his character pulled me into the story or what was happening to him and he was unbearably ignorant to everything he should have done.

  • Allen
    2018-09-24 21:51

    It's the start of a series, and I'm probably going to read the next one. But I'm a little conflicted about it. I'm all about science fiction set in the Victorian era, and it held my interest, but I just feel like it was a bit thin on characterization.

  • Daniel
    2018-10-12 01:36

    It was ok. The book was 3 parts. The first was great, the second suffered but then got better and the last was ok. The book stands alone but is set up to be a series. There's definitely potential and I'm intrigued enough that I'd probably buy the next book.

  • Andy Witting
    2018-10-03 02:45

    This isn't a genre that I would usually enjoy and I did find it a difficult to suspend disbelief at times especially at the more fantastic plot twists but I also found it difficult to put down and, in retrospect, enjoyed reading it a lot.

  • John
    2018-09-26 20:57

    All in all Lazarus Gate was ok, was a bit slower than I like and seemed to veer off track on occasion. I won this great book on GoodReads and like I do with most my wins I will be paying it forward by giving my win either to a friend or library to enjoy.

  • Mark
    2018-10-20 19:53

    Definitely going to read yet to be published #2 later this year.