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The Legacy of the Unborn: A Novel of Lovecraftian Horror

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The Cthulhu Mythos destroys everything it touches. A wealthy, jaded Lenox Hill physician, weary of catering to an endless procession of rich old biddies, who's searching for meaning in his life. A beautiful woman, who's distraught that her husband has vanished like Judge Crater. A brassy girl reporter, working for the New York Evening Graphic, looking for that one big break t The Cthulhu Mythos destroys everything it touches. A wealthy, jaded Lenox Hill physician, weary of catering to an endless procession of rich old biddies, who's searching for meaning in his life. A beautiful woman, who's distraught that her husband has vanished like Judge Crater. A brassy girl reporter, working for the New York Evening Graphic, looking for that one big break that will get her into the big time. A catatonic young man-survivor of an ill-fated expedition. A vicious serial killer, terrorizing Manhattan's posh upper west side. An ambitious police detective, convinced that he can win fame and fair lady by tracking down the fiend. How is this unlikely cast of characters connected to an evil older than mankind itself? Legacy of the Unborn is a direct sequel to H.P. Lovecraft's masterpiece, At the Mountains of Madness.


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The Cthulhu Mythos destroys everything it touches. A wealthy, jaded Lenox Hill physician, weary of catering to an endless procession of rich old biddies, who's searching for meaning in his life. A beautiful woman, who's distraught that her husband has vanished like Judge Crater. A brassy girl reporter, working for the New York Evening Graphic, looking for that one big break t The Cthulhu Mythos destroys everything it touches. A wealthy, jaded Lenox Hill physician, weary of catering to an endless procession of rich old biddies, who's searching for meaning in his life. A beautiful woman, who's distraught that her husband has vanished like Judge Crater. A brassy girl reporter, working for the New York Evening Graphic, looking for that one big break that will get her into the big time. A catatonic young man-survivor of an ill-fated expedition. A vicious serial killer, terrorizing Manhattan's posh upper west side. An ambitious police detective, convinced that he can win fame and fair lady by tracking down the fiend. How is this unlikely cast of characters connected to an evil older than mankind itself? Legacy of the Unborn is a direct sequel to H.P. Lovecraft's masterpiece, At the Mountains of Madness.

30 review for The Legacy of the Unborn: A Novel of Lovecraftian Horror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Salway

    On the surface, this book is a meandering exploration of a 1930s serial killer mystery. The narrative is explored by two characters whose storylines interact periodically and who each have their own personalities and motives. I was attached to the characters. Both of them were believable and decent human beings. I particularly relished the charming love stories that they each got (not with each other). It wasn't the sort of fast paced reading that kept me glued to my seat, but it was comfortable On the surface, this book is a meandering exploration of a 1930s serial killer mystery. The narrative is explored by two characters whose storylines interact periodically and who each have their own personalities and motives. I was attached to the characters. Both of them were believable and decent human beings. I particularly relished the charming love stories that they each got (not with each other). It wasn't the sort of fast paced reading that kept me glued to my seat, but it was comfortable, endearing, and never bored me. The book had a good atmosphere and complimented its setting very well. The language, and even writing style, felt authentic to the time period. We got to visit speakeasies, watch hot detective work in action, and see reporters get the news to the papers. Somewhere in the midst of this elegant tribute to the 1930s, I forgot the subtitle lurking in italics on the cover of the book. "A Novel of Lovecraftian Horror." That beast didn't rear its head until the final 5% of the novel. When it did, it really took me aback. I felt the horrific tone of the ending clashed with the rest of the story. It left a murky bigger picture, and it ruined my expectations of a happy ending. I closed the book feeling mostly disappointed. On the other hand, there may be something to be said for a horror plot that intrudes into placid life and takes one by surprise so absolutely!

  2. 5 out of 5

    F. Stephan

    A fascinating experience in the Lovecraftian universe. This was a rather unique book. Legacy of the Unborn is introduced as the sequel to "at the moutain of madness". A sequel maybe but entirely different since this is a murder mistery. Reader of Lovecraft, be warned. We are in his universe but not in his writing. The story is built neatly and precisely. The chapters are organised rigorously, the editing is well done. Characters are drawn in details and very lively. Changes in point of view will A fascinating experience in the Lovecraftian universe. This was a rather unique book. Legacy of the Unborn is introduced as the sequel to "at the moutain of madness". A sequel maybe but entirely different since this is a murder mistery. Reader of Lovecraft, be warned. We are in his universe but not in his writing. The story is built neatly and precisely. The chapters are organised rigorously, the editing is well done. Characters are drawn in details and very lively. Changes in point of view will allow you to know them well and like them (which is unfortunate in a lovecraftian horror) A truly fascinating experience indeed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ed Morawski

    I sat down, mentally rubbing my hands in anticipation of a good horror novel, and opened this book on my Kindle. I was faced with – a blank page with one partial line of text at the very bottom. I pressed to turn the page and was presented with yet again, one line of text. Eventually I figured out this was a quote, separated by improper formatting on three pages. Thinking I made a mistake I used the Kindle’s ‘GOTO’ feature to find my place. Sorry – only the Beginning, Dedication, and End were op I sat down, mentally rubbing my hands in anticipation of a good horror novel, and opened this book on my Kindle. I was faced with – a blank page with one partial line of text at the very bottom. I pressed to turn the page and was presented with yet again, one line of text. Eventually I figured out this was a quote, separated by improper formatting on three pages. Thinking I made a mistake I used the Kindle’s ‘GOTO’ feature to find my place. Sorry – only the Beginning, Dedication, and End were options – no chapters, no way to navigate through the book except page by page. Made it a little difficult to take notes for this review and not an auspicious start to my reading. And it was pretty much downhill from there. The story wasn’t bad, but I don’t feel it rose to the level of HP Lovecraft. It is more a routine Jack the Ripper story which doesn’t break new ground. While there is some ‘mystery’, the ‘horror’ aspect was mostly missing for me. An even bigger problem in my opinion is the questionable historical accuracy. The book is set in 1931, a fact we are reminded of at the beginning of each chapter, so it really needs to depict that time period. The manner of speaking and language seem to be more in the 1880s or at a stretch 1920s rather than 1931. For example, words used in the book like skedaddle, peccadillo, victuals, palooka all date from 1865 to the 1920s. Actual words used in the 1930s like aces, snazzy, hot, smooth, sweet, swell, keen, cool, doll, dame, gumshoe, dick are conspicuously missing. Two major events in American history were taking place in this time period: The Great Depression August 1929 – March 1933 Prohibition January 17, 1920 – December 5, 1933. No mention is made of the Great Depression. In fact everyone seems to be doing quite well when in fact most people at that time barely had a nickel to their name and hunger was widespread especially in big cities like New York. (Ever see photos of the soup lines?) And I seriously doubt some newspaper would be paying some unknown young single girl to be a reporter during this time when so many family men were out of work. And whiskey doesn’t seem hard to get, even though Prohibition was in full effect. Although at least some mention is made of the speakeasy. The telephone system was still in early stages yet the characters refer to it as if were as modern as today. “Call me, you have my number.” Only one mention is even made of an ‘operator’. And, by the way, in 1930 the term ‘horn’ referred to a telephone, as in ‘Get Joe on the horn.’ Again, this term is absent from the book. These are my opinions of course, but they ruined the story telling for me. Another creative choice I hate in all books is when authors attempt to use phonic spelling of words, as in this case: ‘figger’ for ‘figure’ and even more egregious ‘pitcher’ for ‘picture’. Don’t authors have some obligation to use correct English? And the person speaking here is the REPORTER. Is that the way she writes her column? One would think at the very least a person who writes for a living would know the correct words.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Azriel Hope

    A nostalgic who done it that wafts along with the smell of cigarette smoke. The Legacy of the Unborn: A Novel of Lovecraftian Horror is a detailed and richly ascribed 1930s detective type novel. Two main characters sift through the evidence to find a lost doctor and catch a serial killer. In their pursuit of answers, Dr. Ebenenizer Warman tries to piece together a mystery involving a missing friend and colleague who leaves behind a neglected wife and two daughters. Also on the case is a budding A nostalgic who done it that wafts along with the smell of cigarette smoke. The Legacy of the Unborn: A Novel of Lovecraftian Horror is a detailed and richly ascribed 1930s detective type novel. Two main characters sift through the evidence to find a lost doctor and catch a serial killer. In their pursuit of answers, Dr. Ebenenizer Warman tries to piece together a mystery involving a missing friend and colleague who leaves behind a neglected wife and two daughters. Also on the case is a budding journalist and scrappy reporter, Sally Barton, looking for her shot at the big time as she teams up Detective Morris Moscowicz to find the Manhattan ripper serial killer. Through journal entries and investigative reports, we slowly and deliberately piece together a mystery. Okay...so where to start? The writing is very nostalgic, I don't know a lot about the 1930s but it seems authentic. There is so much smoking it almost makes you sick, but that also seems right for the era so the reader has to just deal with it :) Because of the way the book is written and the dubious attention to each tiny detail, one really doesn't get too close to the characters. This might be a good thing...actually, but it makes the read more subjective than emotional. We are always kept at an arms distance. I found it hard to get into the book at first, but warmed up to the writing style and was actually curious about solving the mystery...and as the mystery heats up so does the weird until it blows all over your face and messes you up. So...I'm not sure what the point is... in the end other than well, the author took his readers on a journey with the last stop being hell. The story is well written and intriguing, but I wouldn't want to read it again...and feel pretty duped by the ending. There were some amazing opportunities to bring true emotion into the story despite the horrific ending that would have pulled heartstrings, but this reads more like a 1930's journal with more attention to proper etiquette than feelings...especially for the gay character that leaves you barely recognizing his relationship. So for me, this was sort of loveless and in the end...that is a good thing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Jones

    A respected physician has gone missing while a deranged killer terrorizes Manhattan with Jack the Ripper style murders. A gung-ho reporter for a gossip rag, a disillusioned cop, and a world-weary doctor bored with his clientele of rich old women all embark on a journey to discover the truth. But at the heart of it all is an ancient secret that destroys everyone that gets close to it. First off, I should admit that I have very little experience with Lovecraft and I have never read the Mountains of A respected physician has gone missing while a deranged killer terrorizes Manhattan with Jack the Ripper style murders. A gung-ho reporter for a gossip rag, a disillusioned cop, and a world-weary doctor bored with his clientele of rich old women all embark on a journey to discover the truth. But at the heart of it all is an ancient secret that destroys everyone that gets close to it. First off, I should admit that I have very little experience with Lovecraft and I have never read the Mountains of Madness. So I’m likely missing something in regards to this book. That being said, I feel the book holds up well out of context. Less a horror and more a mystery set in 1930’s New York. The language, the speakeasy culture, the overall feel of the city gave the book a film noir feel. I could almost hear the lonely saxophone track as the characters made their way through the old brownstones and rain-slicked streets. And the story is well-put-together and highly descriptive allowing me to immerse myself in this mystery. I had a couple of issues though. The first is the romance between the reporter and the cop. It seemed… forced. I could almost hear the characters saying, 'Our fate in this book will be more powerful if we are deeply in love so let's be deeply in love now. Because the plot demands it. Smooches!'  The second was that this book has a muddy middle. It starts off strong and ends well but there is a portion where the narrative feels like it chases it’s tail for a while before it finds the thing that propels it forward. However, I also recall feeling that way when I actually read Lovecraft so that could be a feature as opposed to a bug. Overall, I enjoyed it. It was a ride through a psychological mystery/ horror that does make me want to pull up some of the work on which it's based and immerse myself deeper into the world.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bara B

    The novel has a sophisticated feel about it. Refined plot, characters described in short but precise way. Not sure about the 1930s. I couldn’t quite grasp the time period. It might be the vocabulary. And that’s why I thought that Sally’s secret was a bit overdramatic, then realized the time period. I couldn’t quite get to like or dislike any characters. They are all like the chess pieces on a game-board—there are a lot of them, their personalities are not as important because they are part of a b The novel has a sophisticated feel about it. Refined plot, characters described in short but precise way. Not sure about the 1930s. I couldn’t quite grasp the time period. It might be the vocabulary. And that’s why I thought that Sally’s secret was a bit overdramatic, then realized the time period. I couldn’t quite get to like or dislike any characters. They are all like the chess pieces on a game-board—there are a lot of them, their personalities are not as important because they are part of a bigger game. But that’s alright, because the novel is not character-driven. It is an investigation into the missing person, possibly connected with the Ripper. And therefore, the novel reads more like Agatha Christie. There is a lot of step-by-step description. Almost as if we need to know every little movement that the characters make. Could have had less of that, but, again, the book is written as testimonies, notebook entries, excerpts. So, I guess, that is the feel the authors were going for. A lot of medical-related description. Quite extensive, but I really liked those parts. Made you think what it all had to do with the missing person. As I said, the first half of the book reads like an investigation story, police procedure. But then! But then! Necronomicon book. Here we go… Then the expedition. Wait a second… Then the secret of the origin of the mankind… The last part of the book is truly Lovecraftian. I enjoyed it the most. But I wish I didn’t have to enjoy it just at the end. More of this, please! With this said, The Legacy is a nice read for the readers who like old-feel-detective-story-mystery and, of course, Lovecraft. P. S. I would love to see a proper book cover that would give the novel its justice and invite the readers’ interest.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura Koerber

    This is a book for horror fans. Though there is a lot of stuff going on--a gay man character, some sweet interactions between characters, a good mystery plot, a spunky female lead--the narrative makes a sudden deep dive into Lovecraftian monster horror at about three quarters of the way through. A conventional mystery turns into a very different story, as if one of those old movies, maybe Katherine Hepburn as the spunky female lead, suddenly turns into a vintage horror flick. The writing is soli This is a book for horror fans. Though there is a lot of stuff going on--a gay man character, some sweet interactions between characters, a good mystery plot, a spunky female lead--the narrative makes a sudden deep dive into Lovecraftian monster horror at about three quarters of the way through. A conventional mystery turns into a very different story, as if one of those old movies, maybe Katherine Hepburn as the spunky female lead, suddenly turns into a vintage horror flick. The writing is solid, descriptive but not showy and meticulously proofread. I literally saw only one typo! The story is told mostly by two main characters but also through journals and newspaper articles. One of the strengths of the narrative is the author's ability to create a different voice for each narrator, but also to have them speak in the vernacular of the 1930's. This aspect of the novel--different voices speaking in the idiom of the time--is handled very well. There's a lot of setting description which I enjoyed. New York City in the Thirties was very different from now and that difference adds a lot of color to the story. I did find the ending overly protracted and jarringly different from the build-up. However the title says it's a story of Lovecraftian horror, and the author delivers!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Balroop Singh

    The Legacy of the Unborn: A Novel of Lovecraftian Horror by Silas K. Henderson begins well, is fast paced and full of action but the plot gets complicated midway, with a number of sub-plots and their tentacles hang till the end. The book starts going downhill from the moment Dr. Warman goes into the details of Miskatonic Antarctic expedition and its effect on Wesley. It becomes difficult to follow where is he taking the story and what sickening pleasure is involved in giving it such a prepostero The Legacy of the Unborn: A Novel of Lovecraftian Horror by Silas K. Henderson begins well, is fast paced and full of action but the plot gets complicated midway, with a number of sub-plots and their tentacles hang till the end. The book starts going downhill from the moment Dr. Warman goes into the details of Miskatonic Antarctic expedition and its effect on Wesley. It becomes difficult to follow where is he taking the story and what sickening pleasure is involved in giving it such a preposterous twist! Silas’ style is pleasant in the beginning and his characters appear to be focused, revealing only what a good story needs to say. Sally is inexperienced but stumbles on many relevant pieces of the puzzle, which Dr. Eben is trying to solve with the help of his friend Harvey. Dr. Colin remains an incredible enigma till the end but only his character evolves through out the story. There are many superfluous details, which could have been edited to add some brilliance to this novel. I am extremely disappointed with the bizarre ending and all my admiration for the astute style of Silas faded with it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Madelon

    Although the 1930s are a little before my time, the dialog here hit my nostalgia nerve. I grew up in New York City. I recognized the street names and the vernacular of the city. LEGACY OF THE UNBORN is a classic example of New York City noir into which classic horror is woven to perfection. Although I was born 16 years after this story takes place, I distinctly remember the cigarette culture of my early childhood and the rituals surrounding it. As a former smoker (quit 30 odd years ago), I found Although the 1930s are a little before my time, the dialog here hit my nostalgia nerve. I grew up in New York City. I recognized the street names and the vernacular of the city. LEGACY OF THE UNBORN is a classic example of New York City noir into which classic horror is woven to perfection. Although I was born 16 years after this story takes place, I distinctly remember the cigarette culture of my early childhood and the rituals surrounding it. As a former smoker (quit 30 odd years ago), I found the portrayal of the liturgy of acquiring, sharing, lighting, and extinguishing cigarettes to be exactly what I remembered. It was uncanny. So much so that I had to verify whether I was reading a contemporary book or one written back in the day. Henderson's attention to detail is meticulous. Henderson tells us that THE LEGACY OF THE UNBORN was inspired by Lovecraft's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. Familiarity with this, or any other, work by H. P. Lovecraft is not needed to fully grasp the noir horror mystery here. It would seem that LEGACY OF THE UNBORN is Silas K. Henderson's debut novel. I'm following him so I won't miss his next book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan Whitney

    I initially bought this bought after seeing it recommended on the Facebook HP Lovecraft site. It was not bad but I disliked much of Sally's chapters. It was very odd that a character who used poor grammar, made frequent mistakes in basic English, and basically spoke in hackneyed slang would suddenly use a word like "ubiquitous". I found her to be particularly annoying. The other characters were OK and I liked Eben's undersstated queerness. The ending was just what it was supposed to be. I initially bought this bought after seeing it recommended on the Facebook HP Lovecraft site. It was not bad but I disliked much of Sally's chapters. It was very odd that a character who used poor grammar, made frequent mistakes in basic English, and basically spoke in hackneyed slang would suddenly use a word like "ubiquitous". I found her to be particularly annoying. The other characters were OK and I liked Eben's undersstated queerness. The ending was just what it was supposed to be.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laurel L Glasco

    I hated the ending I really enjoyed the book in a way. I liked the main characters and hoped that their stories would have happy endings. No such thing... The addendum telling the reader that in 2020 a headless body was found was unwelcome. Did the monster survive for 99 years or has someone created a new monster? The last survivor loses his faith in God and expects nothing but oblivion after death. Then he kills himself. The ending of this story depressed me no end.

  12. 5 out of 5

    sara reynolds

    EXCELLENTLY WRITTEN!! I choose this rating because this book could have been written by H.P Lovecraft himself! And that is indeed a compliment to this writer. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author!

  13. 5 out of 5

    J.E. Rowney

    I found it difficult to connect with this book. I found the plot confusing and the characters not particularly likeable or relatable. It is mooted as a sequel to another author’s book so maybe if I had read that I might understand this better, but as it stands, I am at a loss.

  14. 5 out of 5

    joe blow

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jay Meunier

  16. 5 out of 5

    Regina

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Garber

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan Casterlin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anthony J Frontiero

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fayma Shedelbower

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peter Reilly

  22. 4 out of 5

    Miki

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paul Honey

  24. 5 out of 5

    Skip

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diana Isaura

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael Peirce

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maria Coro Arruti

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Jr.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hamilton-Smyth

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

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