Song of Kali

Dan Simmons
Song of Kali Cover

Song of Kali


Song of Kali starts off slowly setting the scene and introducing us to main character Robert Luczak. The first thing I noticed was how well written it is. Simmons writes quality prose and carefully builds the intrigue and tension of the story. His descriptions of Luczak's impressions of the chaotic city of Calcutta are fascinating, sometimes frightening and depressing. There is no doubt that the author is using poetic license to help build an atmosphere of unease and increasing dread. He is also writing the story from Luczak's viewpoint.

The characters are rounded and memorable. Robert Luczak is a flawed man. He makes mistakes, and this helps make him feel believable. The harrowing experiences he undergoes during his time in Calcutta clearly shape his views on the city.

"Some places are too evil to be allowed to exist. Some cities are too wicked to be suffered. Calcutta is such a place."

This is how the book begins. Why would he make such a damning statement? What could have happened to him there? I wanted to know more, and Simmons's narrative pulled me in.

From here on in, things get stranger and more fantastic. Luczak gets tangled up in a fever-dream-like nightmare which had me hooked. I have to stress that the final third of the book is page-turningly addictive. I was almost racing to the end to find out what happened next. In fact, Song of Kali has reminded me to read more by Simmons. Do you have any recommendations?

Recommended for fans of well-written adventure stories which contain elements of fantasy-horror, as well as believable characters. Be wary of some depictions of body horror.