Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Review: "Agents of Light and Darkness", Simon R. Green

Image yoinked from, because my camera's batteries keep dying.

When we last left our hero, John Taylor, he had just decided to move into the Nightside fulltime (he also acquired a secretary for his job, but that's besides the point - and she likes constantly poking fun at him) again. Couldn't have come at a better time! Things are on the move! Things are always on the move in the Nightside.

To be exact, the "things" on the move are angels (the so-called "agents of light and darkness" there in the title). They are not cherubim. They are not even like those annoying angels from Sinfest. Or like the angels from Supernatural (who are quite badass, I'll give you that much). And absolutely none of that "Touched By an Angel" crap. Noooo, the angels who have come to the Nightside are full-on Biblical. No one can even look at them without turning to salt. They care about nothing but what they have come to recover.

And what they're looking for is the Unholy Grail - the cup held by Judas at the Last Supper when he betrayed Jesus. Someone in the Nightside has it, and they will saltify anyone who they think has it.

Of course, guess who's also on the same search? Yeah. John. Poor John, always getting mixed up with this stuff. He has been asked by a very pleasant man named Father Jude to find it for him (the Vatican is looking for it, you see). Oh, and a couple of other people who aren't so pleasant who want him (who can find absolutely anything) to find it for them.

John has a big problem, however, in the form of the Collector. As his name implies, he collects stuff. Lots of stuff. Actually, hoarding may be more accurate than just collecting. He has a fricking time machine and he goes through time and yoinks whatever he wants and then refuses to give it back.

Seriously. A TIME MACHINE.

And he is not a nice dude whatsoever.

And if you haven't guessed, he is also after the Unholy Grail, and so, it's basically John and Suzie Shotgun, against the Collector, and the angels are after them all. It's a whole lot of running around the Nightside and trying to not get turned into salt.

Somewhere along the lines they find the Speaking Gun, which also will affect future books. It's a gun made up of what looks like human muscle and bone. It's pretty gross, basically, and powerful beyond all measure.

Oh, and I mentioned Merlin in the review for book one? He's in this one. As an actual character. It's quite close to the line of a deus ex machina (but then, considering the fact that there are angels running around, I'm not sure you can call a spirit running in and setting things straight too much of a stretch. It almost makes sense, really).

Of course, the book is a little crazy (I swear Green likes stacking as many improbable events on top of each other as best he can and forces them to work somehow) as all of the Nightside books are. (There's a particularly creepy part in which evil people creatures who can reveal the innermost fears of anyone they encounter come upon John and Suzy Shotgun. It also is an incident that will affect the rest of the series.) It works. I have no idea how on earth Green pulls it off (I've read most of the Nightside series - missing the two most recent ones, half of the Secret Histories series, and one of his standalone books, Drinking Midnight Wine, and he manages to do it in all of them. Don't know how he does it and always makes it work.) Either very good plotting or magic. Haven't figured out which one it is yet.

All in all, Agents of Light and Darkness doesn't suffer from the sophmore slump that many books in series do - it's just as solid as the book before. Maybe it's because of the length (again, this is not a long book, which is why I didn't go over too much of the plot like I normally would, because, well, spoilers), I don't know. But still - this is a good follow-up to the first book. :D

Where have I been for the last two weeks? Final exam. And then anxiously waiting for the mark from said final exam to come out, and unable to think of anything but that.
On the plus side, I am now a graduate!
Now what? O_o

1 comment:

  1. So I only read a little bit of this because I got to the biblical angels part and was like HOLY CRAP I MUST READ THIS *blocks out spoilers* :D

    Also, congrats on graduating/finishing exams :)