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Book Review

Book Cover

Troglodyte Rose


Author: Adam Lowe
Cadaverine Publications
Available 02 November 2009

In an underground city, Rose and her gang attempt to mitigate the awfulness of their lives by taking drugs, any drugs. Discovering a new high, which initially seems to create convincing hallucinations, Rose discovers that the drug opens up portals to other worlds. Through this portal Rose brings sleeping princesses back into her reality. But the acquisition of the drug brings the gang to the attention of the authorities and Rose has a choice, either be captured or fight back...

Troglodyte Rose is a new dystopian science fantasy novel by Adam Lowe. The novel contains a number of beautiful illustrations by Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon.

The underground city which Rose inhabits doesn’t really have a lot going for it, social order has all but broken down, with much of the citizenry engaging in crime, from the petty type to cannibalism. Thorough this world Rose navigates her way with her hermaphrodite lover Flid. It is their discovery of ‘The Haze’ and its ability to apparently make your dreams a reality that prompts the two to try to escape the city for the near mythical surface.

The book is not just a catalogue of imaginative grotesques; Lowe has a mean and dark sense of humour which he uses to great effect in the novel. Our heroine is a much darker version of Tank Girl, where the tank has been substituted for drugs and hermaphrodite sex. The world she inhabits is violent, the threat not coming just from the cities other inhabitant but also from the flying Justicars, who patrol the city looking for transgressors, any they find are either sent into slavery or torn apart on the spot.

Although for the most part the story is told from Rose’s point of view, when the action starts Lowes switches between characters to provide different viewpoints.

I have to say that once I got into it, Troglodyte Rose was a pleasure to read, though with his writing style the first few pages can be disorientating, but its well work persevering. With so much of the city and its history to explore I was surprised that the book was so short, perhaps Lowe is saving more insights into this world for future projects.

For fans of the extreme, or just plain weird, this book should be just up your street.


Charles Packer