The Lost Army

Author: Christopher Golden
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 0 7434 8996 9
Available now

Around 525 BC, a Persian army 50,000 strong vanished from the face of the earth while crossing the Egyptian desert. Two millennia later, amid mounting hostilities between Libya and joint allied forces, a group of British archaeologists has met the same fate, disappearing without trace along the edge of the Great Sand Sea. It's time to call in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense...

The Lost Army represents the first Hellboy novelisation. It's a book that is sure to divide the fans. There will be those that argue that Hellboy only really works as a graphic novel and to release a book without Mignola's illustrations is blasphemous - despite the fact that this book includes a number of sketches by the man himself.

I came to The Lost Army with an open mind and left it unsure as to whether I was totally won over or not. It's a good, solid story that Mignola fans will warm to, but there seemed to be something missing.

The dead warn Hellboy and his companions to: "Leave now or die". Digging deeper beneath the sands of the Sahara, the paranormal investigation team find a danger far greater than they bargained for. In the immortal sorcerer Hazred, it looks as though Hellboy has found a foe beyond even his supernatural powers.

Christopher Golden's writing is fresh and engaging, but Mignola's sketches, which are scattered throughout this story, remind us of what this could be - a fantastic graphic novel.

A good read, and one that Hellboy fans should warm to. But, don't blame me if you don't!

Pete Boomer

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