Author: Jeff Long
Original language: English
We are not alone… In a cave in the Himalayas, a guide discovers a self-mutilated body with the warning–Satan exists. In the Kalahari Desert, a nun unearths evidence of a proto-human species and a deity called Older-than-Old. In Bosnia, something has been feeding upon the dead in a mass grave. So begins mankind’s most shocking realization: that the underworld is a vast geological labyrinth populated by another race of beings. Some call them devils or demons. But they are real. They are down there. And they are waiting for us to find them…
In a high Himalayan cave, among the death pits of Bosnia, in a newly excavated Java temple, Long’s characters find out to their terror that humanity is not alone–that, as we have always really known, horned and vicious humanoids lurk in vast caverns beneath our feet. This audacious remaking of the old hollow-earth plot takes us, in no short order, to the new world regime that follows the genocidal harrowing of Hell by heavily armed, high-tech American forces. An ambitious tycoon sends an expedition of scientists, including a beautiful nun linguist and a hideously tattooed commando former prisoner of Hell, ever deeper into the unknown, among surviving, savage, horned tribes and the vast citadels of the civilizations that fell beneath the earth before ours arose. A conspiracy of scholars pursues the identity of the being known as Satan, coming up with unpalatable truths about the origins of human culture and the identity of the Turin Shroud, and are picked off one by bloody one. Long rehabilitates, madly, the novel of adventures among lost peoples–occasional clumsiness and promises of paranoid revelations on which he cannot entirely deliver fail to diminish the real achievement here; this feels like a story we have always known and dreaded.