Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 1 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Something More Than Night (Hardcover)
I was keen to see what Ian Tregillis would write after his Milkweed Triptych, which I greatly enjoyed - and this is probably even better.

Bayliss is a PI living in a world of mean streets, dangerous dames and blurred morality. It's a world we're all familiar with, even if we haven't read the books - though I have to say, Tregillis lays on the argot so thick that in places it's hard to tell what Bayliss is actually saying - and for all I know, he's invented half of it anyway.

The first thing a shabby but upright PI needs is a dame in distress - and Tregillis gives Bayliss Molly, who is certainly more than he bargains for: a roundly drawn and far from stereotypical heroine, she can hold her own with him and with the hoodlums (natural and supernatural) she encounters in this book. The biggest problem she has is that she's actually dead... Or is she? Because Bayliss is more than your typical PI. He's actually an angel (fallen, naturally) and he's investigating the greatest murder of history - the slaying of one of the Seraphim, Gabriel...

Against the background of a near future world, beset by environmental catastrophe and supernatural menace, Bayliss and Molly need to decide how far they can trust each other, work out what's really going on - and save the universe.

I loved Tregillis's Miltonesque/ Gnostic universe, which comes complete with Powers, Thrones, Dominations and all the other sub-orders of angels but is also underpinned by some serious theoretical physics. It's a universe constructed from sediments composed of knowledge, of theories, of might-be, and so only viable as long as the angels agree on a consistent reality - a universe where intention is all. Tregillis excels, I think, in developing a language that allows him to describe the doings of these indescribable beings and how their actions affect our reality that makes sense and allows the plot to move along, while still emphasising that "otherness". But at the same time the story is grounded in deep human emotions though Molly.

I also loved the barking mad, convoluted plot, which ought to be nonsense but is actually perfect sense. This book kept me up till well past midnight - I just had to finish it - and I really need to go back and read it all again, because once you see what's really happening everything changes...

And now I'm desperate again to see what Tregillis writes next.
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D. Harris
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Oxford, UK

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