Review of Domain by James Herbert

February 22, 2017


As with many classics, and don’t dare suggest the Rats series is anything but, you’ve got some mental hoops to jump. Here there are touches of racism, though rare, and there’s misogyny, subtle and screaming, both not so rare. Mostly, these are eye roll moments that demonstrate a period in the not-so-distant past. Climb over these altogether, or note them and move on, and you’ve got a pretty fun ride.

Domain is the third and final novel of the series –there is a part four in the form of a graphic novel. Part one is a masterpiece of the mundane made monstrous. Part two, is mostly rehashing the same kind of trouble as the first instalment. Given this fact, I wondered if there was any steam left in the series before I finally got around to reading this one. And to my surprise, often throughout, James Herbert threw a wrench into his plot with atomic bombs. Sure the rats continued to bite and chase, but putting the city in a state of rubble was ultimately a winning decision.

Through the sewers, the hapless survivors contended with rats and radiation, flooding and thugs. This thing really did keep the surprises coming. It is fast, vibrant with activity and description. The dialogue is good –dated to the time, so befitting. And the rats are creepers worth reading about.

Almost as good as the original. I am impressed.


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Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
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