The Drood family has always specialized in thwarting deranged maniacal magic-using megalomaniacs who want to take over the world.
But what can they do about an organized "Anti-Drood" organization that is as old as they are, and has spies in their ranks? Simon R. Green tackles that weighty idea in "From Hell With Love," his fourth Secret Histories novel -- a sometimes confusing tangle of magical battles, shapeshifters, spies and impending world destruction.
First off, Eddie is sent to L.A. to stop the small-time villain Dr. Delirium at a magical auction... only to have Delirium make off with the aptly-named Apocalypse Door. And after he returns back to the Droods' vast mansion, the Matriarch is brutally murdered in her bed, throwing the Droods into mass confusion and chaos -- as well as a berserker rage that causes them to attack Molly.
Eddie suspects that the mysterious Immortals -- an ancient clan who have served as the "anti-Droods" throughout history -- are behind it all, but the Drood Library is suspiciously devoid of information on then. The Immortals have slipped "flesh-dancing" spies into the Droods' ranks, and plan to destroy the Droods and harness the Door's power... unless Eddie destroys them first.
We have Springheel Jack, a woman immortalized by endless waking, a talking dragon head, the Spawn of Frankenstein and a Droodlike family of immortal sociopaths. Yeah, this is definitely a Simon R. Green book. But "From Hell With Love" is a darker story than the previous Secret Histories novels -- especially since the Droods suffer the biggest losses we've seen yet.
And Green packs the entire book with a harrowing string of gruesome battles that leave countless Droods dead or wounded, as well as a bleak sense of paranoia over what spies have wormed their way into "the family." His writing is tight and colorful, and his usual sense of humor is in place (Eddie deals with a legendary, unkillable dragon by... grabbing the inside of its tail and pulling it inside out. EW).
And Eddie has a rougher time in this book than he has since the first book of this series -- the Droods still regard him with scorn and suspicion, and he seems to have lost the person closest to his heart. Green also fleshes out the Armourer by revealing more about his personal life, and the sacrifices he has made for the Droods; and we also get the cruel Immortals, who are the dark twins of the Droods.
The downside? A couple of plot threads are left dangling (Roger's trip to Hell), and Green himself leaves us dangling with a hair-ripping, finger-gnawing cliffhanger. Oh come on, I suffered through an almost identical cliffhanger once this year already!
Simon R. Green splashes his Secret Histories series with a healthy dose of blood, mayhem and paranoia in "From Hell With Love".... but honestly, that cliffhanger is just cruel!
on 26 November 2010
It was a pleasure to read this book after the bitter disappointment of A Ghost of a Chance. The plot continues on from the previous Secret History novels with the discovery that the Drood family have competition for the guardianship of the world in the shape of the Immortals. Whilst the Droods take their guardianship fairly seriously only occasionally overstepping the mark into outright oppression, the Immortals make no secret of their ambition to be Masters of a subservient human race. The story opens with the murder of the Drood Matriarch and suspicions of spies in the Drood camp, throwing a reluctant Eddie into the leadership of the Droods once more, ably assisted by Molly the witch. Proceedings get underway with the usual mixture of mayhem and dark humour with visits to secret bases in the Amazon and hideaways in the Artic. The Drood mansion is subjected to a massive attack of Accelerated Men leading to a death toll on a par with Midsomer Murders. They must have a Drood breeding programme to keep up. The Immortals are eventually tracked to their lair in a Transylvanian castle where they have taken on the aspect of particularly repulsive teenage nerds. Needless to say the Immortals are firmly routed and the safety of the World order assured, but with some surprising deaths and disappearances on the way, leaving open the prospect of further books in this series. This may not be a Booker prize winner, but it is a lot more fun to read.
on 18 June 2012
Having loved the first two books in this series, but then been somewhat underwhelmed by the third, this was a welcome return to form for Eddie Drood as he faces his biggest threats ever in the shape of a doorway directly to Hell and traitors within the family.
OK, there may be one huge battle too many along the way and some characters are introduced just to solve a problem in the very next chapter, but there are some shocks, lots of smiles and loads of fun all the way through.
This is thoroughly entertaining fantasy frolics and I just went off to buy the next one right along without thinking about it, something I didn't do after the last book.
Welcome back Eddie.
on 23 January 2012
The Secret Histories rolls on. Fr Fans of Sharman Bond AKA Eddie Drood, this is a treat as we continue to discover more about the family that protects humanity from things that go bump in the night. A cool blend of urban fantasy, science fiction, comedy and drama Greene has knocked out another book that makes we wish I'd written it. There can be no higher praise. A deadly auction, a door to the dungeon dimensions of Lovecraft's monsters and more double dealing, betrayal and scandal within the family than a Victorian bodice ripper! An great b-movie of a book, full of entertaining and knowing asides. Can't wait for the next one.
From Hell With Love is as face paced and gritty & exciting as the others in the series, even though this one seems heavier in places. Another good nail biting tale of Shaman Bond & his partner and all time love Molly ( I really love that wise cracking witch). The wise cracks are there from time to time and are very aptly placed, made me smile a few times and also made me read faster in places when the action got exciting.
The twist & turns and the trails & errors of the story is well written as usual. But could this be the end for our reluctant Hero, I dont think so.
Eddie Drood aka Shaman Bond is in for a hellish time in this book. His family lose a lot of good people and more are injured. The lies & betrayals and the action come thick & fast.
I love how Simon writes and he writes a good tale,really well indeed, but I hate his cliff hangers and for this he loses a star.
A whole year to find out what happens is in very bad taste, but we know it will be alright in the end (Well I hope so) ;)
on 8 March 2011
A typical Simon Green novel. If you liked the other Secret Histories you will not be disappointed. Others have commented on the story but I think in this Secret History we get much closer to the Ian Fleming original. Those who have read the book, as distinct from seeing the film, will not be too surprised. Mr Green creates the equivalent to Spectre, rather than Smersh and also flirts with OHMSS before coming back to finish with with love. A clever book but also hugely entertaining.
on 21 March 2011
Another great read. fast pace, plenty of action, a few twists, a few laughs and a healthy amount people getting blown up in new and exciting ways. everything you expect from the mr green, everything you want from this seris. its not going to win awards or impress strange people who don't like this kind of book, but if you like this kind of book, and have read the rest of the seris, you'll probably enjoy this one too.