I have read and enjoyed other works by Green. This book I have read. What was the most difficult for me was the speech styles. "The chain of events opened a door, and now Something from the Past is forcing its way through, into the Present!", "An ancient Presence, powerful and pitiless, demanding worship and sacrifice, blood and horror. Out of the Past, out of Time, come to drag Humanity down to its own level again", "I'm getting definite indications of Time shifts. Intrusions from the Past. Some recent, some not. And underneath all that... I'm reading Deep Time, JC. From long before this station even existed. This is bad, JC, seriously bad. I've never seen so many extreme readings in one place before."
That's just in the first three chapters of the book. Later on their speech does creep up to match the modern timeframe of the story, but the overemphasis on "OMG!!!" sits there all along. Each new thing they encounter in the London Underground is always more than anything they've ever seen before. And these are supposed to be seasoned field agents? Green tries to get around that by frequently reinforcing that they are a B-team and only there because there was absolutely no one else. Same with their enemies from a rival organization. That team is also there because there's no one else and they're an effective B-team. However, two Bs do not an A make.
Add in some over the top descriptions, more than one info dump, a deus ex machina and an barely believable team up and the story just falls apart. Which is sad, because I know Green can do better and the idea had so much potential. In the end, it felt like Green was trying to be Lovecraft, rather than paying homage to his style. Bad choice all around.
This was brilliant. I believe that's not an overstatement. This second book in the Secret Histories series illustrates that you either like Simon R. Green or you don't. His sense of humor might turn off some readers, and some of the prose can have a repetitive aspect. I think he likes to repeat things for emphasis. I had to look this up. It's called analepsis: repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis. Yeah, Green loves analepsis. As for me, everything I love about him is showcased in this novel. His silly but clever sense of humor. His belief in heroism. His cynical viewpoint of human nature. His understanding of the way people think. His love for fairy tales, mythology, folklore. His ability to write horror in a way that really gets you in the gut. His kooky characterization. It's all here.
The intersection of fantasy and spy literature is very appealing about this book. It's clear that Green loves Bond and can also poke fun at its motifs and conventions in a way that only a Bond fan can. I like that this is a part of the story, but it doesn't stay in pastiche territory. There's a nod to it several times, but Green has something a lot more interesting to explore with this book. He even throws in a little Lovecraftianesque elements.
The story starts with Eddie trying to pull his family back together and get the Droods back on track. He gets a lot of resistance in this endeavor, but Eddie is not the type to give up. He has Molly Metcalfe, the Witch of the Woods at his side, and some help from his uncle Jack, the Armorer. The rest of the Droods are more than happy to watch Eddie fall on his face. Eddie knows what many of us had to figure out for ourselves, family complicates our lives, makes us crazy, but they're family, so you can't just walk away from them, unless you have to.
Eddie decides they need a big bad to fight, so he decides they'll take on the Loathely Ones. I can't tell you more, because so very much happens and you'd have to read it to even get it. So much goes into this one.
I listened to this on audio, and I'm so glad I did. At first I was meh about the narrator. But he won me over but good. He's British, and also talented in voicing many dialects. Each character sounds distinctive, and he even changes the cadence of the speaker. He knows how to build drama, and also inject sarcasm and pathos into the dialogue and prose.
This was awesome action, now shying away from gore, but also quite horrific at times. I think the action balance was better in this one than The Man with the Golden Torc. Green takes more time with the exposition, and that's very crucial with this story. Eddie has a lot of plotting and planning to do, and he can't make these decisions on the fly. The fantasy is solid and the ideas are all over the place, but everything comes together very nicely. I was pretty upset about one character death, and I don't think Eddie is going to take what happened lightly or let it go. Revenge is a dish best served cold. The characters are all interesting, and add something to the story. If you think a character is wasted, keep reading and wait for it.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Eddie and Molly. They challenge each other, support each other, and accept each other, which is crucial, considering who both of them are. I think Eddie would be screwed in many cases without Molly, and while she's very independent, it's clear that Eddie is very important to her.
This is a crap review and I need to recharge my laptop. I'll end it by saying I loved this book and it just makes me love Simon R. Green even more than I already do. Highly recommended.
It's been years since I read Something From the Nightside but I found it easy to slip back into the world without having to re-read the first book for refreshers. I really enjoy that. I also enjoyed this story. Not very long but a fast read, lots of action. Nice bits of background drops, not just on the main character, kept it interesting. Learning about all the ways John Taylor's gift for finding things can be used makes you realize that there's more than just people and objects that can't be hidden from him. The entities hunting him are the reason he doesn't make his life easy and use his gift each time someone hires him, which gives him depth. Add in the Unholy Grail, which is the cup of Judas, rather than the Holy Grail, the cup of Christ, and you have an interesting target. I think this is the first story I've run across that centered on the Last Supper that didn't revolve around the Holy Grail, and I found it a breath of fresh air.