This historical, horror, thriller is a choice of book out of my comfort zone. The book starts with the macabre execution, at an unspecified time in history of Toomak, former high priestess and personal physician to the Pharaoh Memnon. Toomak with her last breath swears to Memnon to, “find the amulets of the ancient, unite with the underworld and return to wreak vengeance on you and the rest of the living world.”
Then we are taken to Huntingdon University in the mid-80s where a group of students have performed a bizarre experiment which has opened a portal into another dimension resulting in a number of souls/spirits crossing over tho their present reality and giving them awful visions of the deaths the spirits endured. With the help of one of their professors, Earnest Appleyard, George, Carl, Chelsea, Mary, Henry and Tyler try to undo the damage wreaked by their experiment. However, they have to contend with antagonist Dean Sutherland, who is determined to expel Henry and is constantly on a path to foil their plans to repair the damage they have caused when they unleashed the spirit of the malevolent Toomak and she will stop at nothing to fulfil her words.
Toomak is reborn in Ancient Judea in the Roman year 753, united with the underworld her path of vengeance here brings humanity to the brink with the students and Professor Appleyard are charged to stop her. Her rise to power and garnering of knowledge to aid her on her quest leads her to Britannia via a long and tempestuous voyage aboard a cargo ship.
The final battle takes place in book 3 where Toomak is at the height of her powers and try’s to intervene in a key event in history to give power to the underworld.
This book is an immense read spanning time an different locations charting the evil action of Toomak. I enjoyed the adventure and change in scene immensely and got quite attached to the characters. Toomak is a compelling evil villain to follow and although fantasy isn’t my preferred genre I got carried away by the plot and characters. The university student element of this book had a “Flatliners” feel to it, a film from the 80s where a group of students perform an illicit experiment which has far reaching consequences too, but the supernatural is taken up a notch in Timelock. This definitely is not a book to speed through, you do have to take your time and savour the plot and scenery. The horror element is present in the gruesome detailing throughout the narrative.
The historical aspects of the story seem to be appropriate and relevant to the ages described, although I am no expert on Druid history or Ancient Judea. The story is easy to put down and pick up and I loved the way the story was weaves together and I for one would love to read more about Toomak. The only gripe I have about the advance review copy I received was the number of typos I encountered. A good corrective proof-read would have made the whole experience better. An exciting adventure of good versus evil, Timelock is a spine-tingling journey that is not to be missed by fans of horror, historical thrillers and just a good epic story.