Hey, Nero = 666! Ah, the things you learn. Only two days away from having finished this book on 06/06/06, too. :PLee, Tanith. Venus Preserved. New York: Overlook, 2003.Summary
: Book IV of The Secret Books of Venus
quartet. In the future, Venus is a domed, underwater tourist destination, and they're secretly trying to bring back the dead. But when they revive Cloudio del Nero, a fallen angel bent on destruction inhabits the body, and it's up to the revived gladiatrix Jula, the archeologist Flayd, and the half-demon musician Picaro to stop him.Comments
: Hrmm. While scenes of the Roman past and of unholy mass death and destruction in the present were wonderfully vivid, Tanith Lee does not, apparently, do science fiction, modern/future settings, or ebonics nearly as well. Half-hearted attempts to give Picaro and his mother Simoon an African- or African-American-sounding dialect failed miserably and were almost embarrassing to read. I was also unimpressed by how women were the bodies--sexual and/or physical--in this story, while the men were the brains and the mystical might. Still, it was interesting to see the descendants of some of the characters in the first book make appearances (I'm guessing she had the fourth book already in mind when she wrote the first), and I got a kick out of the early encounters between Flayd and Picaro. (Flayd: "I have to talk to you." Picaro: "Is this a sexual proposition?") I think Lee was rather the Johnny-Come-Lately with the apocalypse, and other authors have done their own versions of the Antichrist and Four Horsemen way better. (See Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.) Once again, all of the ways that Lee has managed to Find God(tm) for this series failed to wow me, but the scene of Picaro "swallowing" Cloudio was most cool. ^_^Notes
: hardcover, 1st American editionRating
- Ends the series with a gigantic explosion/implosion--otherwise known as a whimper. Read only if you've read the other three or like End of the World plotlines.