The Riddle of Cthulhu is a mix of ancient mythology, science fact and science fiction combined to form a mesmerizing tale that is hard to put down.
The cast of characters includes aliens who manifest themselves in a beguiling manner, protagonists who are named for Homeric heroes, manufactured critters beyond grotesque and enough seesaws between good battling evil to please the most discriminating reader.
The plot moves along steadily and is assisted by well-drawn characters whose personal foibles are believable. The science facts that are utilized so effectively give the whole book a ring of authenticity even in the face of the most outlandish “special effects”. The science fiction becomes believable mostly because everything else is so recognizable and familiar.
Cybele calls to mind Ripley of Alien fame. She is a strong female character who manages to stand up very nicely against the boys, both human and otherwise. Some of the varmints she battles would give most anyone nightmares. It is refreshing to see a female hero for a change. The conflicts between Cybele and the men of the group provide a telling glance into the psyche of men faced with a strong, independent woman.
The Riddle of Cthulhu is the kind of book that, if you have to put it down before you finish it, keeps you wondering what comes next. That is the hallmark of a truly good book.