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Tim Waggoner
Angry Robot, 416 pages

Tim Waggoner
Tim Waggoner wrote his first story at the age of five, when he created a comic book version of King Kong vs. Godzilla on a stenographer's pad. Overall, he's published over 70 stories of fantasy and horror as well as hundreds of non-fiction articles. In addition to writing fiction, Tim Waggoner has worked as an editor and a newspaper reporter. He currently teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. His wife Cindy is a psychologist and they have two daughters.

Tim Waggoner Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Necropolis

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Bonnie L. Norman

Matt Richter is good at doing favors for people. A former cop, he's good at finding things out and making people talk. He's also very, very dead. As the only self-willed zombie in the alternate dimension where the haven city of Nekropolis is built, he's something of an oddity even among the strange, weird, dangerous, and creepy citizens that make their home there. Nekropolis was founded about three hundred years ago by Father Dis and the five Darklords, in an effort to give the denizens of the dark places i.e. the vampires, werewolves, witches, and demons, a place to escape from the ever growing menace of a vengeful humanity.

When Matt and his partner followed a magical killer through a portal from Earth to Nekropolis, trying to bring him to justice proved a little more deadly than they'd planned on. Now Matt is a zombie, just trying to make enough money to keep buying the preservative spells that stop him from turning into a faintly twitching pile of dust. Now he's known for doing favors for fellow monsters in need, and he's stacked up quite a reputation because of that penchant.

Devona Kanti is looking for a favor. She's the keeper of Dark Lord Galm's treasury, a vast collection of powerful and dangerous artifacts and spells. One of those very deadly artifacts has gone missing, and she comes to Matt for help in tracking it down. The two of them must find out what happened to the artifact and who's behind the theft before something terrible happens during the renewal ceremony for the spells maintaining Nekropolis. And Matt's got some pretty serious problems of his own to deal with too.

Tim Waggoner's style brings to mind Simon R. Green, also known for dark urban fantasy chock full of death, dismemberment, and gore. Waggoner isn't shy about describing violent fights and vicious wounds, and even seems to take some pleasure in seeing how much abuse zombie Matt can take before he falls apart. The villains in the book are creepy, alien, and often very scary, but some of Matt's friends are even scarier.

Matt himself is still very human, despite his death handicap, and the way he's slowly shaken out of his funk by the desperate search for the missing artifact is captivating. Devona, too, is a very interesting character. She has lead a very sheltered life, but she's willing to learn quickly and do what needs to be done in order to protect her Lord and her city. The two make a good team, each shoring up the other's weaknesses, and the interaction and conversation between them is truly the highlight of the story. Waggoner does a good job of reminding us what it means to be human, or at least humane, even for those who haven't been alive or human in a long time.

With a good description style and a well thought out plot, Waggoner has set up Matt and the dark city of Nekropolis to be a long running supernatural detective series. Matt Richter might be dead and rotting, but that doesn't stop him from catching his man or monster.

Copyright © 2009 by Bonnie L. Norman

With a love for all things Science Fiction and Fantasy, it's hard for Bonnie to decide between SF books and SF TV, but somehow, books always seem to win.

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