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The Lost Level

(Lost Level #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  79 reviews
When modern-day occultist Aaron Pace discovers the secrets of inter-dimensional travel via a mystical pathway called The Labyrinth, he wastes no time in exploring a multitude of strange new worlds and alternate realities. But then, Aaron finds himself trapped in the most bizarre dimension of all — a place where dinosaurs coexist with giant robots, where cowboys fight repti ...more
Paperback, 171 pages
Published January 19th 2015 by Apex Book Company (first published December 17th 2014)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Dan Schwent
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
When occultist Aaron Pace begins experimenting with travel between dimensions, he finds himself trapped in The Lost Level, a realm purported to be inescapable. Will Pace buck the odds and find his way back home?

I've never read Brian Keene before and this is far from his normal fare, a planetary romance of sorts rather than his usual horror fare. While it wasn't my favorite book of this type, it was quite enjoyable.

As I mentioned above, The Lost Level is Brian Keene's homage to the works of Edgar
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the way it could have been done and perhaps should have been done. Brian Keene has taken the genre of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Pellucidar books or Otis Adelbert Kline Mars and Venus books, and even perhaps the Dray Prescott books of Allan Burt Akers actually written by Kenneth Bulmer and given them new life.

Pure escapist reading with no holds barred non stop action and adventure. An interesting side lite of the book is Keene ties the novel into his complete universe of novels which do not
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Booyah! The spirit of old-school lost world pulp fantasy is alive and well in The Lost Level. Even if he hadn't paid homage to his literary influences in the introduction, Brian Keene's fondness for that lost genre is evident upon every page. This is a story that truly has it all, from dinosaurs and Nazi spaceships, to nuclear-powered robots and alien greys, to razor sharp grass and carnivorous ponds.

Lest you fear The Lost Level refers to some kind of video game or virtual reality adventure, res
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it
As a massive fan of Brian Keene, I go into any new book of his with certain expectations. It does not matter whether said new release is his typical horror fare, or whether it represents Keene stretching his wings and trying something different. In fact, I tend to enjoy it when authors take chance and try something else, even if my enjoyment of such releases tends to vary.

So it was with The Lost Level, Keene's pastiche to numerous authors and their significant works, including Edgar Rice Burroug
Jonathan Echevarria
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who love Lost
The Lost Level is the first book in a series that is both equal parts intriguing and mysterious. Brian Keene draws a lot of inspiration from televisions shows like J.J. Abrams masterpiece "LOST" and classics like Land of the Lost. However at the same time The Lost Level marches to it's own tune, giving the readers a fresh read that has me hungry for more. Never before have I been so interested by a series like this, not even when watching Lost back when it was on television. I found myself think ...more
This hardcover book is copy 14 of 168 signed and numbered copies signed by Brian Keene
Frank Errington
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 of 5 Stars (rounded up to 5) Review copy

One look at the cover art from Kirsi Salonen and you have a pretty good idea where Brian Keene's, The Lost Level, is going to take you. This homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sid and Marty Kroft, Joe R. Lansdale, H. G. Wells, and others takes you to places that can only be reached through the imagination.

The story is told by Aaron Pace, written by hand in a spiral-bound notebook found in a student's backpack inside of an abandoned school bus. The school
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adventure, horror, and science fiction in a lost land devoid of time and unique in it's flora and fauna.

The Lost Level reads like an ode to the iconic comic hero Sheena and men's adventure mags, Brian Keene's pulp-tastic tale set in a unique place-setting is a nerd's delight - I mean, how could it not be? There's a freaking T-Rex battling a giant killer robot in an high octane earth-shattering epic battle scene. Add a touch of Alien (greys), a dash of X-Men (think Beast), and a harrowing hint o
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Brian Keene’s The Lost Level is the first book of a projected series. If you are familiar with the works of Keene then you know him mainly as a writer of visceral horror. His zombie filled Rising trilogy is probably the best known of his books. Yet he will occasionally venture out in to other territories. The Lost Level is one of those other territories. While having its moments of horror it is steeped in an earlier tradition, that of the fantasy/science pulp fiction of the past. Think Edgar Ric ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Largely influenced by those lost world classics in print and film, this wonderfully entertaining novel follows occult adventurer, Aaron Pace, as he suddenly finds himself in the strange, bizarre, and deadly world known as The Lost Level. Fans of Keene's previous work, the Labyrinth mythos plays a part in this first of a planned trilogy, but there are also inventive gems from our own world, which makes this novel so much fun to read.

Highly recommended!
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
The nitty-gritty: An outrageous, pulpy, bloody, dimension-hopping story that by turns made me laugh and cringe, and had me running to Google more than once.

I turned my attention back to the cliff. The slope had been hidden by thick vegetation, but now that I stood on its edge, I could see a deep, narrow valley below us. But the gorge wasn’t what caught my attention. What did were the two opponents who were fighting on the valley floor. I had seen many bizarre things since coming to the Lost Leve
Rob Twinem
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have always associated Brian Keene with horror and was pleasantly surprised when I won a copy of his latest ebook in return for an honest review. The Lost Level is a mixture of science fiction and fantasy if you think of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World mixed with HG Wells The Time Machine add a modern makeover then the result is a fast paced fun read with superb imagery.

In the opening chapter we meet Aaron Pace who is busy writing his memoirs by hand on a spiral-bound, college-ruled notebo
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, pulp
Brian Keene's brand of horror is the kind that will rip your heart out and feed it to you. But he's got a knack for delving outside strictly horrific fiction, especially the zombies that made him famous, for more rollicking fare. His collaboration with Nick Mamatas on The Damned Highway would be a good example of that. So I was curious how he'd pull of some pulpy fantasy adventure.

Aaron Pace finds himself trapped in a distinctly alien land after getting a little too complacent with his self-taug
THE LOST LEVEL, by Brian Keene is the first in a projected series of this "universe". We begin with the basics; a modern day occultist, Aaron Pace, has studied and found a way to initiate inter-dimensional travel using ritualistic techniques. Opening a door through what he calls the "Labyrinth", he is able to access different times, and "levels" of worlds other than our own.

All is well in Aaron's exploration until one fateful day that he steps through the "door" his magic conjures and realizes h
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I shouldn't have … but I did … and it was good.

I can think of at least 6 reasons why I shouldn't have liked this book: pulpy, juvenile, too simplistic, and so on, but I DID like it. It has lots of actiony goodness and dinosaurs and boobs and lizard peoples and UFOs and even giant slugs! In fact, it's the Swiss Army Knife of adventure books.

Half way through, I found myself reminded me of Sid and Marty Kroftt's “Land of the Lost” TV series. Most of you won't remember that but I think there
Thomas Hobbs
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
A man named Aaron seeks other worlds when he gets traps into a world full of unique threats. This book was unique in its on way. It kind of brought known threats and unique threats into one story.
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'll admit this first before delving into this review. The Lost Level is the first of the lost in time/space or lost world pulp type novels I have ever read. I always enjoyed watching those types of TV shows but never entered the world otherwise.

There was something different about The Lost Level for me. I can't explain it but I'll say I'm now a fan of the genre at least as far as Keene's telling goes.

The Lost Level follows Aaron Pace and his adventures in the level from the title, a dimension th
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Here's a book you can totally judge by its cover. It features a man with a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other who is watching a dinosaur fight a giant robot. If that sounds like a silly waste of time to you, then by all means give this one a pass. If, on the other hand, like me, your first reaction is "Hey, cool! All we need now is a flying saucer and some Nazis!" then this is the one you've been looking for, especially if you've ever wondered whatever happened to your lost sox. It isn' ...more
FUN FUN FUN. That’s what you’re getting with this little ditty. As others, including Brian Keene himself have mentioned, the lost level (and other books in the series) are really a pastiche of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Land of the Lost type of stories. I had a real good time with this, and it reminded me a little of reading an old massive copy of Burrough’s collected works that I would pull down from my folks’ bookshelf. Takes me back. Looking forward to the next book in the series where i find o ...more
Erik Smith
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brian Keene's The Lost Level is a loving tribute to the "lost world" pulp stories of yesteryear.

The story is told by Aaron Pace, a student of the occult, who, while exploring The Labyrinth, becomes trapped in the fabled "Lost Level." While trying to adjust to his predicament, Aaron makes some friends, Kasheena and Bloop, and encounters many strange and dangerous creatures.

The story is fast paced and exciting, written in Keene's typically clean style. The characters are interesting (I love Bloo
Paul McNamee
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I tore through this book in a weekend. It is that much fun!

Taking pages from various "lost world" stories, Keene rolls out his own take on the genre. With influences ranging from The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, the Pellucidar series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and up through the television series Land of the Lost and Lost, this story romps through dinosaurs, lizard men, killer robots, deadly vegetation and other dangers.

While the tropes are there (in a good way,) Keene also weaves in his own
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The only problem with a 5 star review on a really good book is when you come across a book that you think everyone else should read ( not just the people who read the genre but everyone ) because it's that damn good there's no extra stars.
The Lost Level takes you on a trip to your child hood memories of what a true adventure would be. Toward the end you become sad because you know it's coming to and end. Here's hoping Brian Keene drops everything else he's doing and gets us all Lost in our Adven
David Barbee
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Level has the potential to be what I wanted the Dark Tower series to be. Sure, there's no gunslinger, but it brings fullblooded pulp whereas Dark Tower was sort of philosophical and wishy washy. Sorry for the hyperbole. Keene will prove me wrong or right with future sequels, but I have a feeling he'll prove me right. ...more
Donald Armfield
If this place exists, then I'm going in armed to the teeth. Although will that even be enough?
Cat- things, piranha birds, carnivore grass lands, and so much other things under a sky that doesn't show its stars.
Heck there is even a valley blanketed with missing socks and explains, maybe that is where all our socks go when you can find em in the dryer.

Im returning to Lost Level now... see you when I get back.
Sci-Fi & Scary
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to come.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
Alison C
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it
The Lost Level , by Brian Keene, tells the story of Aaron Pace, a kid from Minnesota who finds himself stranded on The Lost Level, an inter-dimensional planet where objects and beings from all the other meta- and physical Levels in the multiverse sometimes end up - the flotsam and jetsam of the worlds, so to speak. Aaron has a good range of skills, from being an avid reader to having a special interest in the occult to being a champion fencer and hunter (with guns), to having played v ...more
Eviscerating Pen
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: pulp
Let’s be honest here, this novel is not for everyone. Hell, the forward makes it clear that Keene wrote this for not a damn person but himself. The characterization is as flat as you can be. Aaron’s defining characteristic seems to be “being awesome”, combining encyclopedic knowledge of all things with brawny kick-assedness, his eventual lady of note adds “hot” to this broad list of qualities while subtracting the knowledge of all worlds, his Wookie is, well, a Wookie and the big bad evil can’t ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people associate Brian Keene with horror and from his body of work it's easy to see why. I honestly associate him with enjoyment, plain and simple.

Granted, I'm a huge fan of the man, but the reason why is that I've read a good number of his books and the common denominator for each and every one of them is that they keep me interested and entertained throughout. There isn't a moment in them when I feel I have to push through to get to the good stuff, everything in them's the good stuff.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Aaron Pace is stuck in time and space in a place called the Lost Level. Anything can happen in this bizarre place where the sun never sets and the local vegetation can attack at a moments notice. A place where a battling robot and a Tyrannosaurus Rex can actually happen, and Nazi spaceships can be stumbled upon during a walk in a grassy field. And where strange snake men with human flesh to adorn their scaly hides are a nemesis to any wayward traveler.

If you like high adventure and the bizarre t
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
NOTE: I was sent an electronic ARC of this book and asked to write a review once I had finished it.

The Lost Level fits firmly into the pulp adventure genre, with the main character, Aaron Pace being an occultist who finds himself trapped in a parallel dimension of sorts (the titular Lost Level) that's home to a range of oddities from snake men and dinosaurs to lost socks and Nazi flying saucers.

There's a native warrior woman who does a lot to avoid the classic "damsel in distress" tropes that e
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more

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Lost Level (3 books)
  • Return to the Lost Level
  • Hole In The World

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