Sky Done Ripped
by Lansdale, Joe R.; Truman, Timothy (ILT)

Ned and his friends Bongo Bill and Suzie Q jump through time into Victorian England, where they save a famous ape-man from man-eating birds and agree to help him steal a Golden Fleece with curative powers from Shangri-La. Illustrations.

Lansdale, master of many genres (perhaps most famously the Hap and Leonard mysteries), presents another adventure starring Ned, the brain-enhanced and frequently off-color seal. In this installment (after Flaming London, 2006), Ned's former cohorts Buffalo Bill Cody and Mark Twain are nowhere to be found, but an ape boy from an alternate dimension joins the cast. And Tango (a Tarzan-esque jungle hunk) makes three. What follows is a bizarre romp through an inner Earth full of war machines, cannibals, and dinosaurs. Lansdale seems to have shifted away from the steampunk stylings of the earlier novels into H.R. Haggard-style pulp fiction (but with a lot more cursing and blood). Those who haven't latched onto the series previously might not find easy entry here and Ned's sort of a weird figure to base a book around: when he's not being crass, he's chattering for hours about his love of fish. However, so much happens in this book that readers will almost certainly find something to enjoy, and longtime Ned the Seal fans will be thrilled to experience another round of Lansdale's outlandish fiction. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

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