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Mask of the Other $16.99 $5.00
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Mask of the Other
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Mask of the Other
Publisher: Greg Stolze
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/14/2013 05:55:11
Mask of the Other is a well written and engaging story dealing with the aspects of the Cthulhu mythos in a modern setting. As with a lot of mythos fiction there is some examination of the price that is paid for power and if you have read and enjoyed any of the Delta Green fiction then this is probably going to be your kind of thing. I thought the characters and the organisations where presented in a convincing way and the supernatural elements were dealt with well, both in terms of reinterpreting the mythos and as stand alone descriptions of alien (in the broad sense) creatures. I'd recommend the book to pretty much anybody who likes modern horror.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mask of the Other
Publisher: Greg Stolze
by Kevin V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2012 00:03:28
To get this out of the way quickly, I really enjoyed this book. It's cleanly and energetically written, with a great premise and well-realised characters.

Honestly, the blurb covers a great deal of what I was going to discuss as part of explaining why you should read the book.

_Mask of the Other_ covers a number of different characters across several different timeframes, and they are all clearly rendered, interesting, and frequently flawed people. The dialogue was particularly impressive for me, doing a great deal to characterise everyone and how they relate without feeling forced. It's also frequently as funny as it is horrible and profane, and we've all known people like that.

Or at least, I have.

This book is an energetic modern exploration of the Lovecraft mythos, and there are points of easter-egg crossover with _A Wind At The Window_ from the Greg Stolze free fiction library (http://www.gregstolze.com/fiction_library/index.html), and with _i_Delta Green_/i_.

I enjoyed it, and I'd be interested in a sequel.

As another point of interest, this book has the most imaginative, alien and disturbing rendition of a shoggoth that I've seen anywhere, and that includes Lovecraft's work.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mask of the Other
Publisher: Greg Stolze
by Stephen J. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/12/2012 23:34:34
I, literally, just finished reading "Mask of the Other" by Greg Stolze. I wanted to write this review while the ending was still ringing through my head.

Connecting three pieces of mythos, two I'm familiar with via the classic HPL literature (Shoggoth's and Deep Ones), the third being either something Greg invented or pulled from a source I'm not familiar with. While no knowledge of HPL is necessary, it certainly tickles a certain fancy to recognize the form and danger of what the protagonists are _really_ dealing with. But, this isn't your grand fathers mythos! The story is told in very immediate scenes, with brutal detail that adds to the horror of the event while not spoiling the mystery or the creeping sense that the human protagonists are way over their head and all of the weaponry, gear, and planning will serve them little better than any of the other 'victims.'

This isn't just about the mythos, though. The protagonists Greg created feel real. They are flawed, and extraordinary and have complex interrelationships. They feel real because they are so reminiscent of people we know or have met before. They feel real because they are securely anchored in a setting caste with the same history as our own, with the same geopolitical conflicts and stresses and dark alleys, as our own. The difference, is that their reality has been touched by a malignant darkness from out of time and space.

What I'm trying to describe is that this isn't a novel of the 1920's and a gentleman adventurer stumbling onto a horror out of the past and then fainting. This is a story about modern soldiers in a very real, very gritty battlefield that come across something that doesn't make sense and in their continuing efforts to make sense of it, and to deal with the aftermath of their encounter with it, have their lives altered along a trajectory as unpredictable as it is ultimately tragic. The battle scenes felt honest and chaotic. The political, bureaucratic, and corporate machinations felt completely plausible. All of this verisimilitude came together to form the perfect milieu for a tale of other worldly wonder and menace.

Finally, like the plot of "Clash of the Titans," this story was about using one maddening piece of the mythos to fight the others. To try and tame the chaos and terror that's been uncovered, by using a terrible, alien, weapon. And like all power and knowledge within the mythos, the weapon carries a terrible price along with it's gifts.

As much as I loved this book, it did tend to be a bit slow to start, with a lot of back-and-forth across different years and locations. But, very rapidly it becomes clear why this was necessary and how this lays the foundation for a story that unfolds over decades to come to a sudden confluence in the second half of the book. It's worth the effort to stick with it, even if the initial chapters seem unconnected to one another. The pattern emerges soon enough, and then you see the strands Greg is pulling together to form the backbone for the story proper.

In summary, I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves military action, international intrigue, and cosmic horror. The price (currently $5) is negligible and the product wonderful; it's well worth your time to read!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mask of the Other
Publisher: Greg Stolze
by Byron G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2012 12:12:51
If you love Delta Green, Unknown Armies or Lovecraft, just buy it. You won't be disappointed.

Be sure to pay attention to the dates at the beginning of each chapter. They're important.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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