Tag Archives: Simon R. Green

Ghost of a Chance by Simon R Green

I am, in general, a huge fan of Simon R Green. I LOVE his Secret Histories series, with Eddie Drood, his partner Molly the Wild Witch, and the crazy huge and complicated Drood family. I don’t like the Nightside series quite as much as the Droods, but its still good, just not as much my thing. I had high hopes for the first book in the Ghost Finders series.

hopes dashed meme

This novel was a disappointment. The biggest issue was the characters. The three “good” guys, JC Chance, Melody Chambers, and Happy Jack Palmer work for the Carnacki Institute, an organization that exists to deal with ghosts. JC is the overly positive and optimistic team leader whose special talent appears to be strong willpower and bossing his team around. Melody is the tech geek, who believes science can explain everything (sort of?) and likes her computers more than she likes people. Happy is a pill-popping telepath, whose powers are overwhelmingly strong so he needs to constantly medicate to function. Unfortunately, none of these characters were likable in any way. They were one-dimensional and honestly obnoxious. I am absolutely the sort of reader who wants to be able to empathize with the characters, or even feel like I could be part of their world and be their friend. The only character I came close to liking was JC, the attractive, suave, smart leader – and then he fell in love with a ghost he knew for exactly 0.7 seconds, which made NO SENSE WHATSOEVER and that’s pretty much when I lost interest in the novel.

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My face, when the main character abandoned his team to chase after a ghost he was “madly in love with” that he literally just met. 

Then there were the “bad” guys from the Crowley Project, a group interested in the supernatural to meet their own ends and basically take over the world – because of course someone is evil and trying to take over the world. *eye roll* I don’t even remember their names any more. The female (Natasha maybe?) was another telepath with a violent history, like helping her mother kill her father, who carried lots of weapons and was in general Dangerous. The male (Erik?) was a genuine mad scientist who made a computer out of a cat! What?! Creepy. Sometimes, when you can’t connect with the good guys in a novel, you can at least be interested in the bad guys. Not so in this novel. They were awful and nightmare-inducing, with (once again) no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I didn’t like anybody. What a bummer.

ghost of a chance coverThe world building and the supernatural elements in this novel were creepy AF. Like, I had moments where I wondered if an author with ideas this frightening might possibly need to be locked up. Yes, OK, I’m being a smidgen dramatic. But dude. This definitely headed towards “horror” rather than just urban fantasy. Maybe I’m a wimp but it was too scary and horrific for me.

If you enjoy horror and really freaking scary world building, you might enjoy this book. If you read for characters like I do, forget it. 2 out of 5 stars, and I won’t be continuing with this series. Too many books, too little time.

Daemons are Forever by Simon R. Green

Daemons are Forever is the second book in the Secret Histories series by Simon R. Green. I really enjoy this series, because it has every sort of supernatural creature–and therefore every sort of supernatural problem imaginable: aliens, alternate dimensions, fey, vampires, Frankenstein’s monsters, werewolves, you name it. And the Drood family, who are essentially “regular” people gifted supernatural abilities by “strange matter” from another dimension–stand between all of them and humanity.

Daemons-Are-ForeverIn this book, things have changed drastically for the Drood family. Eddie has usurped the Matriarch and destroyed the Heart, an evil other-worldly construct that used to be the basis of their power. With the Heart went the golden torcs that gave the family their armor and protection, and Eddie isn’t giving anyone new silver armor until he’s sure their trustworthy. The family is furious, and the rest of the world senses weakness and prepares to attack. Eddie knows the world needs a display of the Drood power, so he decides to get rid of the Loathly Ones once and for all. He soon finds out he has interrupted the Loathly Ones’ plan to give their gods access to Earth and take over the world. Eddie’s job just became much harder, and it doesn’t make it any easier that the rest of the family mistrusts him and resents his leadership, and there may still be traitors in their midst.

Many of my favorite characters from book one were back in this book. Eddie, of course, and his enemy-turned-partner-turned girlfriend, Molly Metcalf, witch of the wild woods. Their dynamic is fun and drama-free. I like that Green saves the drama for the actual plot instead of the romance between leading characters. We get to know some other characters better too, like Eddie’s Uncle the Armorer, whose sometimes too-extreme inventions help keep the Droods on the winning side of the war. Then there are some new characters, like Eddie’s cousin Harry, bastard son of Uncle James, one of the greatest Drood field agents ever. Harry shows up with his boyfriend Roger Morningstar, ex-boyfriend of Molly and half-demon from Hell. All of the characters have their own interesting personalities and back stories which make the whole novel more fun and interesting to read. Clearly, that is my favorite aspect of these books. The plots are well-written, and the world building is unique, but I run to the library so I can read more banter between Eddie and Molly, and see what the Armorer will come up with next.

4 stars out of 5 for this one. Happy reading!

-Branwen

The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R. Green

man with golden torc coverEddie Drood truly believes in his family’s cause: that for centuries, they have protected the world from all sorts of supernatural and other-worldly evil that would otherwise take over the planet. Every member of the Drood family does something for the cause, from research and developing new weapons to actually traveling the world fighting bad guys. Eddie, a field agent, is one of the very few family members who doesn’t live in the well-protected family compound.  So when the Matriarch declares him rogue and the rest of the family starts determinedly trying to kill him, he must turn to his former enemies to stay alive and find out what’s happened inside his family that has made them turn against their own.

I read a few of Green’s Nightside books and while I didn’t particularly love that world, I did like his writing. I was looking for the next Nightside book at the library when I came across The Man with the Golden Torc and thought I would give it a try. I liked this one better than the Nightside series. Eddie was a strong, realistic character who went through some major changes in his world view, and I sympathized with him and stayed interested in his life throughout the story. Infamous witch Mollie Metcalf, who eventually becomes Eddie’s partner, was smart, funny, and talented too. It was nice to read an urban fantasy novel with a male leading character with a female “sidekick” (although Mollie would not like being referred to as a sidekick) and this was managed without any awkward or annoying romantic side plots. The plot was clear and stayed on track, the world-building was successful, and the characters were well-developed.

Short review, but good book. I give this book 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it to fans of the Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Mark Del Franco’s Connor Grey series, or Simon R. Green’s Nightside series. Happy reading!

-Branwen