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Face in the Abyss - Abraham Merritt These days I don't let myself pick up random books by authors I have heard talked about. I make sure that I know which books to look for first. But this has been on my shelf for a while, back from the time when I wasn't quite so meticulous and did pick up random books. And getting to the end of this reminded me why I revised by book acquisition strategy!

A lost world adventure story that mingles elements of science fiction with fantasy as the protagonist Graydon discovers a hidden valley in the Andes that hides humans of an ancient race that have conquered ageing as well as having created strange animal-human hybrids. He falls in love with a woman he meets there and becomes embroiled, and ultimately pivotal, in a conflict between two warring factions. Can he help stop an ancient evil from rising again or will he become its instrument?

While it did have its moments, it felt overall to have dated quite badly. It was often slow and plodding, peppered with antiquated ideas and simplistic philosophising, its characters were shallow and one dimensional. I didn't feel that the author did a good job of bringing this lost world to life, evoking a sense of wonder in the reader.

One day I will find a copy of [b:The Moon Pool|863689|The Moon Pool|A. Merritt|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348631267s/863689.jpg|937185] which is the book that most seem to cite as being his best work but until then, I won't pick up anything else I see by him.