Nobody’s Home: An Anubis Gates Story

November 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads)

nobodyNobody’s Home: An Anubis Gates Story by Tim Powers

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FACT: The Anubis Gates is one of my favorite novels. I recommend it to folks who haven’t read Powers before when I think they might like his style.

FACT: I read The Anubis Gates over fifteen years ago. I have little recollection of the story other than some key points and scenes, and the feeling of having a hell of a good time with it.

FACT: Nobody’s Home follows one of the characters from The Anubis Gates, Jacky Snapp.

FACT: Powers tells evocative stories, even when he’s writing short works. Nobody’s Home is no exception to the rule.

The problem is that this novella (short story, really; this book is 85 pages long, and counting all pages from the title page forward, with full-page illustrations and wide margins) has little to do with anything that happened in The Anubis Gates. Sure, the character and her tie with that story have a lot to do with her motivations here, but the action and plot have nothing to do with any of those events. There’s no real continuation to that story (as there shouldn’t be; The Anubis Gates isn’t a story that requires a sequel), so I wonder why it’s marketed so heavily as part of that universe.

I don’t mind authors publishing novellas, nor do I mind them linking later stories to earlier ones. What I do mind is authors blatantly connecting a story to an earlier work when it could have just as easily been about new characters without losing anything in the telling. It feels too much like an attempt to cash in as opposed to writing a good story, so it’s hard to stay positive about reading such a disappointing story. Nobody’s Home is a decent enough story of the supernatural that’s ruined by its forced connection to The Anubis Gates.

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