This is another one of those novels that you have to read with an eye toward the era in which it was written – this is Platinum Age science fiction, the kind that rode in on the tails of Wells, Verne, Burroughs, and the like. The prose construction is more descriptiive and less character-driven than modern writing.
Considering this was nearly a Victorian-era novel, some of the concepts in it are surprisingly progressive and innovative. The descriptions of the Metal Monster and the inner world it inhabits are very intriguing, as is the implied relationship between Norhala and Ruth.
The writing is good, and I’m a fan of Merritt – he always reminds me of Wilkie Collins for some reason – but the book is definitely dated and a bit slow in places. Still, it is a decent read if you like this pioneering era of science fiction. I would say it is on a par with the previous Dr. Goodwin book, The Moon Pool.