Death’s Dominion by Simon Clark

October 31, 2006
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Death’s Dominion
Simon Clark

Trade Paperback/342 pages
ISBN: 0-8439-5493-0

". . . the ultimate tale of prejudice and fear, expanding on Mary Shelley’s themes in new and provocative ways."

Death is not the end. Death is the beginning of eternity.

The reanimated dead are hard to kill. A necklace of explosives is one sure way to make sure the dead cannot be brought back again. At the Lazarus Project Transition Station a child becomes aware of the wholesale slaughter of the people who took care of him just as he begins to be more aware of his surroundings. With an unbelievable show of strength the child tosses the strangely clad men out of his way as if they were dolls. The strangely clad men are soldiers determined to destroy every last God Scarer (monsters otherwise known as Transients) even though the Transients are incapable of harming humans. Transients must obey the humans who are their betters. The Child is different. He can and will harm anyone who gets in his way or keeps him from what he was brought back to do.

It takes time for newly awakened Transients to make the necessary synaptic connections to remember who they were and why they were brought back to life. As they awaken they are first aware of the laws implanted in their brains: “Do no harm to Humanity. Allow no harm to befall Humanity due to your action or inaction.” They are also aware of their new names.

The Child awakened in the tank. No other Transient had ever awakened before being restored. The Child is compelled to stay alive, to keep going, to destroy anyone and anything in his path while he struggles to remember who he is and why he was brought back. He is different, but how different the staff of the Transition Station and Humanity are only beginning to realize, and he has a name: Dominion.

Death’s Dominion begins literally with an explosion of color, sight, sound and action that sweeps along like a destructive juggernaut. Combining elements of Frankenstein and I, Robot, Simon Clark weaves a morbidly fascinating tale that questions the definitions and limitations of life and death. Death’s Dominion is the ultimate tale of prejudice and fear, expanding on Mary Shelley’s themes in new and provocative ways.

However, the story slows and bogs down beneath a weight of unanswered questions and interminable hints. Even though the characters are interesting and at times abhorrent, they can also be insufferably banal and whiny—almost to the point the reader wishes all the monsters destroyed. It doesn’t take a genetically engineered negotiator with an eight-pound brain to figure out that Dominion and Clark are heading toward an unsatisfying end that fizzles rather than shocks or surprises.
Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell


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