Second novel in the secret histories series by Simon R Green, following on from The Man With The Golden Torc: Secret histories Book 1 (Gollancz S.F.): Man with the Golden Torc Bk. 1
and telling of more adventures for Edwin Drood. The man also known as Shaman Bond, field operative for the Droods, a family who keep the world safe from mystical threat.
There's enough back story given early on in this, in very digestible chunks, so that you could get into this easily enough if you hadn't read the first book. Both books have a real world setting but one where the fantastical exists side by side with the mundane. Not that those who notice the latter notice the former, save for a select view such as the Droods.
In the first book Eddie ended up taking control of his family and their operations and falling in love with a witch called Molly. Now Eddie has to consolidate his power and deal with members of the family who want things back the way they were.
And on top of that, nasty gods from another dimension are set on taking over this one.
Adopting the usual light tone and fast pace of the writer's work it also keeps up the style from the first book - and his nightside series of novels - of throwing a remarkable amount of inventiveness at the reader, with fantastical characters and items coming at you at the rate of new ones every few pages. Whilst the first book did feel like it could have belonged to the nightside series this doesn't, and for the first three quarters does prove an engaging read. Although all the romantic banter between eddie and molly does get a bit tiresome after a while.
The plot does manage to balance out the threats in the family and the threats from the gods quite nicely once it gets going, but the big flaw is that at 392 pages this is a just a little bit too long, the final third becoming one long extended battle. Whilst there is one real punch the air moment late on in that, it's not quite enough to save the whole thing from feeling a bit dragged out.
So not quite as good as it could be, but it does have it's moments.
There are a couple of bits of strong language and some scenes of an adult nature