Simon Green - General comments
Being the avid reader and nerd that I am I've done quite a bit of reading in my spare time. My father has always (except for when he takes away my books) encouraged these talents and in doing so has led me down the paths of some of his favorite authors. Cue: Simon R. Green. Having been introduced to this Science-Fiction author in October-ish of 2008 I immediately fell in love with this witty author's brilliant characters and devilish charm that accompanied each of his unique characters. So far three series of his have drawn me in:
Stories from The Nightside,
The man with the Golden Torc
The Nightside trilogy was what first opened my eyes to Green's talent for mystique. He took the idea of a Private Eye and shaped his story from there, for his main character has an inner eye, one that is all seeing. There are dangers to using this power, however, for everything is dangerous in the Nightside.
Allow me to explain:
--The Nightside is the dark heart of London where nothing short of instinct and a whole lot of alcohol can keep you alive for long, and usually not very long at that. John Taylor makes his living off the things that go lost in the land of things that go bump and is very good at it until he starts learning some things about his not-so-human mother that can never be very good for the Nightside, not at all...--
I haven't quite finished the first in the massive Deathstalker series yet. So far it totally intrigues me, being the most Science-Fiction-y piece of his to date. It's interesting to see when an author repeats some favorite phrases of his in different series. A particular favorite of mine is "And that's when things went to hell in a hurry" and etc. This book is also a perfect example of why shouldn't judge anything by it's cover. Before I was a big reader I'd often browse Dad's bookshelf to look at the pretty pictures if nothing else. The man on the front cover of the Deathstalker series struck me as the kind of man Superman must be. Strong, brave, a natural born leader, and according to the back he was an outlawed Noble. Now it's time to take a look at the real Owen Deathstalker. Boy was I surprised when I opened this book to find, not the hero of my imagination, but your run of the mill sarcastic, slightly lazy, Simon Green Character. My book judging had been way off, because I should have known Simon Green never makes a perfect character. Never. Even so Owen provides the humor Green is known for, along with the other cast of rebels whom he employs.
--970 something years after his famous ancestor disappears, Owen Deathstalker is suddenly and without reason, cast out of the favors of the Mighty Empress. He has grown out of family tradition, becoming a historian, but now finds himself in the need of the fabled Family fighting powers. With the help of Hazel D'Ark he escapes to Mistworld where it is decided he is to lead a rebellion against the corrupt Empire. There's just one problem. The only device capable of bringing about the fall of the Empress vanished over 900 years ago with the original Deathstalker. Legend says he's still alive somewhere but Owen will have to fight through hell and high water before his tiny rebellion has even a spark of a chance...--
God I love cliffhangers.
Finally onto my favorite: The Man with the Golden Torc. Set in modern day London this story explores many of the horrors of the Nightside, without there actually being a Nightside. The main character Edwin Drood is your average run-out-of-the-battle-scene-lucky-to-still-have-my-ass-intact character but I love him all the same. A few weeks after reading the only two books in the series, I noticed something odd about Edwin's name. Green could have pulled any old name out of his head and said "There. Fred. That'll do" but he didn't. Instead he used the name of the main character from a book by Charles Dickens. More importantly: the book Dickens's was writing when he died, his unfinished novel. Considering the constant intrigue surrounding Edwin and all the Droods this is very fitting and when I saw that, sitting in 8th period English class, it gave me a rush of joy, like finding that I had discovered there was a missing puzzle piece that only the maker and choice few people knew about. Oh and if you already knew about Edwin Drood, keep it to yourself. Don't burst my bubble.
--Edwin Drood carries a secret like no other. He is a member of a Family that is essentially composed of magically enhanced spies. The Droods controll those things that go bump in the night and even take care of the cleanup so that the average citizen never need panic. Edwin is the black sheep of the family and is famous for being the only Drood to have left the "family fortress" so to speak and lived to tell the tale. The secret to the Drood's success lies in the golden necklaces around each Drood throat. Without them they'd be nothing more than a crazy extended family, but with the torcs each Drood can be enveloped in a flawless armour of living metal, making them invincible. It is just Edwin's luck and some careful snooping that leads to the discovery of his big secret, the mother of all family secrets. Forget an insane uncle hiding in the closet, the really crazy one's usually are assigned field work. No, this one secret will cause Edwin Drood to need more than his quick wit if he ever hopes to combat it. This secret that lies at the heart of the Droods, trusted by all, could eventually bring about the fall of Edwin's great family....--
This original book reveiw was made by me, but was originally aired on my blog (www.yougottashine.blogspot.com) first. This is not a plug, just a citation.