THE OTHER REALM
Book Three of the Utgarda Trilogy
By Joab Stieglitz
Rantings of a Wandering Mind
In the first two books of this trilogy we were introduced to Father Sean O’Malley, a Catholic priest, Anna Rykoy, a Russian anthropologist, and Dr. Harold Lamb. The three of them encountered strange occult happenings at a north-east college which in turn led them to New York and the strange disappearance of pulp writer Brian Teploy. At the conclusion of the second novel, the trio discovered Teploy had been committed to a sanitarium having suffered a mental breakdown and were off to find him.
“The Other Realm” picks up where the last ended only to have our heroes uncover a startling revelation. Aliens from another dimension have been visiting our world and in doing so run afoul of a scientist with delusions of grandeur. He ultimately goes insane with the power he is able to leech from them. At the same time he manages to kidnap Teploy and imprison him in another dimension actually constructed from the pulp writer’s own imagination.
The only way to save Teploy, according to alien beings, is for Anna and Harry’s minds to enter that fictional world and become a part of it. Thus after two books clearly set in a normal 1920s background, Stieglitz then throws us into a sword and sorcery adventure that reads like a blending of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Rice Burroughs. He offers up a dangerous quest unlike any we’ve ever encountered before.
“The Other Realm,” is as enjoyable as the first two books and the added genre twist gives it a surprising romp we were not expecting. At the conclusion the author sets the stage for possible future adventures with O’Malley, Rykoy and Lamb. We’d like nothing better.