Thomas Edison and The Lazarus Vessel

Fiction - Adventure
316 Pages
Reviewed on 02/20/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Thomas Edison and The Lazarus Vessel is an action-packed fantasy adventure by David Church. Thomas Edison is dead. But before he died, he invented something that could resurrect the dead. And now, nefarious men want to grab Edison's revolutionary formula for their own sinister schemes. John Dawkins is still grieving the loss of the love of his life, Emily Auburn, when he receives a metaphysical message asking him to find George Gershwin. With the comedian Groucho Marx in tow, John sets off on a dangerous quest that will have him reunite with the resurrected versions of both Edison and Emily. Soon, the little group finds itself embroiled in a seditious conspiracy to end American democracy, backed by a man who would become one of history's most hated figures. Can John and his friends stop the Nazis from taking over?

Thomas Edison and The Lazarus Vessel is, at times, a bizarre but thoroughly entertaining rollercoaster of a ride. David Church puts the reader in the midst of the action from the get-go, and from the first page onward, you find yourself transported to 1930s America on an action-packed journey where you have no idea where you'll end up. The result is pure unadulterated fun. With colorful and vibrant characters and a fast-paced plot, there's not a single dull moment in the entire book. I especially enjoyed the almost cartoonish depiction of Hitler and his underlings. John and his relationship with Emily were another one of the highlights for me. Highly recommended.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel by David Church is the second book in the Thomas Edison series. John Dawkins has Thomas Edison’s last invention, a device that lets him speak to the dead. When it springs to life again two years after its first message, it gives John a message that sends him on a journey to rescue one of Edison’s former associates from a kidnapping. Together with Emily Auburn, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Groucho Marx, Dawkins embarks on a journey through 1930s America, from the Hollywood Dream Factory to the Bermuda Triangle in a bid to stop Edison’s secrets from falling into the wrong hands. Their final task is to face one of history’s worst villains. Can they save Edison’s work, or will they be too late?

Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel by David Church is part of a series but can easily be read as a standalone. However, reading the first book will allow you to understand the characters better. This is creativity at its best; it is part fantasy, part sci-fi, and part historical thriller. It offers a unique premise, a fun story with plenty of action and some humor sprinkled throughout. The characters are wonderfully engaging and likable, with enough backstory to let you get to know them if you didn’t read the first book. It’s a fun way to get to know historical figures in a well-researched story that takes you on a jolly good journey through America in the 1930s. I highly recommend reading the first book in the series before you tackle this one.

Asher Syed

Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel by David Church is a science fiction time travel adventure and the second book in its series, preceded by book one, Thomas Edison and the Purgatory Equation. It has been two years since the passing of famed inventor Thomas Edison and it seems the man who was born in Milan—Ohio, not Italy—and lived a fulfilling life would now be permanently relegated to the pages of history. Yeah, that's not what happens in this book. Edison's assistant John Dawkins is ordered by a quite rude device to find Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Gershwin, which he attempts to do with the help of comedian Groucho Marx. After being chased by everything under the 1933 American sun, including Nazis, the unlikely pair find themselves in a secret lair where Edison himself is found with Dawkins' dead ex, Emily. Edison has invented the Lazarus Vessel, a contraption that will resurrect the souls out of a rubber cistern, and Hitler wants it. Badly.

There's a lot to unpack after reading Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel by David Church, but if Edison can conjure up the head of Russian mystic Helen Blavatsky, I can certainly tell you about it. The bottom line is that Church's book is a lot of high-speed fun, and while I didn't have the chance to read book one before taking book two on, it wasn't terribly difficult to follow. Church keeps the pacing at breakneck speed and this works extremely well with the often witty omniscient narrative and the importance of keeping a reader engaged as new characters are introduced to an already full cast. I found the blend of mystery-solving and horror balanced as well. One can imagine how important it would be to Hitler to have a device that can pad out his depleted military with those who pour out of rubber. The race to stop his attacks on American soil and, specifically, at Chicago's Century of Progress International Exposition, along with the converging of historical figures you wouldn't imagine in the same room, let alone sharing in banter, is as unique as it is wonderfully scripted. Very highly recommended.

alice basoomian

This was an excellent book, very well written and very enjoyable to read.
I highly recommend it to anyone interested in a face-paced entertaining book.