William Morrow, 2016 (2016)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
oy, does the Madden family have one weird past! Tim Powers spins a mesmerizing web in this novel that follows Scott and Madeline Madden as they are summoned to the eerie, decrepit estate where they were raised.
heir aunt has killed herself apparently and her children, Claimayne and Ariel, are not in a particularly welcoming mood when their cousins arrive at the homestead the four once shared. Scott wants nothing to do with the situation and is ready to leave, but he's got to convince his sister there's nothing now to hold them in this '
House of Usher in the Hollywood Hills
', which seems to be a pipeline to another world.
f course, Madeline's curiosity is piqued and she's not leaving just yet, so Scott stays to keep her safe. That turns out to be a tall order when Madeline discovers drawings of mysterious spiders that are a link both into the past and the future. It seems their cousins are also privy to this black magic. They have been using it and don't intend to share the power.
ith his sister under the spiders' dangerous spell, Scott has his hands full and must also use the spiders' powers, which will pull everyone into the deadly web.
lenty of time travel flavored by scenes of vintage Hollywood and a wild, bittersweet conclusion make this an imaginative novel of speculative fiction that fiction buffs will find spellbinding.
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