I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.For Heaven's Eyes Only by Simon R. Green
This urban fantasy is a hardcover edition was published by ROC on June 7, 2011 and has 377 pages.
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Other books by this author include Something From the Nightside, Mean Streets, Agents of Light and Darkness, Nightingale's Lament, Paths Not Taken, Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, Hell to Pay, Just Another Judgement Day, The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny, A Hard Day's Knight, Hex and the City, The Unnatural Inquirer, The Bride Wore Black Leather, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Hex Appeal, Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, The Spy Who Haunted Me, From Hell with Love, Live and Let Drood, Casino Infernale, Blue Moon Rising, Tales of the Hidden World, Blood and Honor, From a Drood to a Kill, The Dark Side of the Road, Dead Man Walking, Very Important Corpses
Fifth in the Secret Histories urban fantasy series revolving around the Drood family in England.
Green has such a good time making fun of secret agents, family, scientists, and demons with the Nightside’s influence leaking in all over, LOL. There is no shortage of action in this one, and again I just couldn’t figure out how Green was going to get them out of this. There were heart-stopping moments galore, some of which resulted from Eddie’s inability to step back and plan for a minute.
I do enjoy Eddie fighting in his armour. The new Ethel-generated suits are so much more fun than the old stuff! Of course, I do enjoy how the Metcalf sisters keep surprising the gentlemanly boy with their own fighting skills.
“Roger mentions that he’s been banned from Limbo and when Molly asks him how one can possibly be banned, his reply is:
‘Boisterousness,’ Roger said vaguely. ‘Bad behaviour. You know how it is.'”
Dusk’s comment toward the end would have meant more if Eddie had been badder instead of the few times he stepped over the line.
“‘Send the bill to Drood Hall,’ I said. ‘And we’ll all take turns officially ignoring it.'”
Whoa, a whole load of things and people that scare the bejeebers out of Droods pops up in this one. If Eddie wants to keep Molly and his Shaman Bond persona safe, then why does he allow her to approach him at the Faire? Oh man, there’s a bit more behind William’s afflictions than anyone thought!
“Being a Satanist is “a very self-indulgent lifestyle…indulge every sin, wallow in every pleasure, satisfy every need…gets very boring after a while. Because if you can do anything, then nothing really matters anymore. It’s all so…superficial.”
It’s fun, exciting, terrifying, and then heartbreaking…
It’s a nightmare in Drood Hall, and Eddie’s in the thick of it. All the people he’s killed over the years are demanding information — right along with the Nightside’s Walker.
It’s a visit to negotiate with Ammonia; a trip to the Supernatural Arms Faire — a little bit steampunk, a little bit James Bond, and a little bit crazed weaponsmaster!; some fancy and not-so-fancy undercover work that appears not to have worked at all; and, betrayal after betrayal after betrayal.
They have got to find that traitor in the Hall!
Eddie Drood, a.k.a., Shaman Bond (Eddie’s cultivated his Bond persona so no one is surprised as to where or when Shaman appears), is a field agent for the Drood family based in London. Molly Metcalf is his witchy girlfriend, always looking out for her man. Isabella is her sister, “a supernatural terrorist, twilight avenger, and so hardcore in her convictions she could scare the wings off an angel”, who envies the Droods’ having the best toys. Louisa is the youngest sister. She’s been dead seven years now and it hasn’t held her back — she’s more feared than the other two. Hey, you welcome one Metacalf witch, you welcome them all…
Uncle Jack, the Armourer who has way too much fun in his workshop (think James Bond’s Q), steps up to rule the family.
William is the whacko Librarian in his ever-faithful white bunny slippers with a new assistant (and nanny), Ioreth; and, there’s something in the Old Library that’s watching over William. A Harvey-type pooka shows up. Cousin Harry is still plotting for his own gain with his partner, Roger Morningstar, the half-demon, his half-brother, AND his lover — he shows off his true self in this one!; The new Cedric has settled into his post as Serjeant-at-Arms, and, you just can’t keep Ethel, the new alien entity, out of anything.
Other significant Droods include Callan as the Head of the War Room; Howard is in charge of Operations; Margaret, a.k.a., Capability Maggie, the head landscaper, is suggested as a possible Matriarch; Jacob was the ghost most everybody hated or feared; Amelia is a far-seer who gave her all; and, Virgil is another far-seer.
Geoffrey Earl is the local vicar and the bossy Margaret are some of the few survivors of Little Stoke. The Wulfshead Club is supposed to be neutral territory where Molly and Eddie meet up with Larry Oblivion (Nightside); Trash; Jeremy Diego the ghostfinder; Monkton Farley, a consulting detective; Philip MacAlpine who made some silly, far-reaching decisions in Daemons are Forever; Bishop Beastly “who refuses to belong to any organised church that would accept the likes of him”; Lady Damnation; and, the Indigo Spirit is a human superhero.
Walker was the ruler of the Nightside before he was toppled due to his own hubris (see The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (Nightside, 10)). Ammonia Vom Acht is the best psychic in the world and quite possibly Uncle William’s best chance at recovering his mind. It’s just that, well, she terrifies the Droods. Peter is her alcoholic husband. Augusta Moon looks like one of P.G. Wodehouse’s terrifying aunts and dresses à la Lord Peter Wimsey traveling “the world doing good, and to hell with whether other people appreciated it”. Usher is here, there, and everywhere at once; he runs the Gun Shops of Usher in the Nightside. The Bloodred Guard will take on anyone including the Satanists. They’re just not being paid enough to take on a Drood. Charlatan Joe will sell anyone out.
The Satanists include:
Lightbringer House is the central meeting place for the Satanists. Alexandre Dusk is a self-made computer geek leading the group. Hmmm, makes me wonder about Bill Gates… Jodie Harper and Mother Shipton are some of the Satanists in London’s Undertowne. Sir Terrence “Terry the Toad” Ashtree is having his doubts. Stefan Klein is in charge of hooking Ammonia up.
The Droods sprang from a Druid back at the beginning, almost, of time who made a deal with an alien entity. The Droods have since watched over the world, ensuring that nothing too horrible occurs and they are feared by all — “aliens, elves, mad scientists and their monsters, secret organizations, and ancient inhuman enemies”. The Immortals were an ancient Drood enemy — a human had reached the Heart first and made his own deal.
The Cover and Title
The cover is the opening shot in which Eddie is trapped in a deserted Drood Hall, ice clinging to everything with our focus on the silhouetted profile of Walker standing just outside the open doors.
The title is a take-off on a James Bond movie, and quite appropriate for this story since its Satanists, instead of Spectre, planning to destroy the world.