Title: Something More Than Night
Author: Ian Tregillis
Publication Date: 3 December 2013
Genre: Magical Realism
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Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.
Because this is no mere murder. A small band of angels has decided to break out of heaven, but they need a human patsy to make their plan work.
Much of the story is told from the point of view of Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel who has modeled himself on Philip Marlowe. The yarn he spins follows the progression of a Marlowe novel — the mysterious dame who needs his help, getting grilled by the bulls, finding a stiff, getting slipped a mickey
Man this was an intense read. It was… it really wasn’t good you guys. This book has an extremely specific fan base. It’s really meant for film noir fans and, even more specifically, those who really understand physics. I am unfortunately not a fan of either of these things.
The film noir nature of this novel really came through during any conversation with Bayliss. Ian Tregillis really does model Bayliss after Philip Marlowe but if you don’t really know anything about Philip Marlowe, Bayliss’ speech is mostly just irritating. To be honest, I’d never heard of Philip Marlowe in my life but I figured I would be okay. It was not okay. Philip Marlowe in the 21st century would have just been a jerk who was impossible to understand.
Another unfortunate aspect to this novel was the very confusing plot. Honestly there was very little clarity throughout the entire novel. There was very little explanation of what was happening to the characters. Instead there was a lot of world building that occurred as Molly – the mysterious dame who needs Bayliss’ help – begins to come to terms with her own divinity. Tregillis spent a lot of time developing his idea of heaven around quantum physics with a dash of philosophy thrown into the mix. Guys, there was a lot of theory that I don’t think the average person who picks up this book would know. It dragged down the book and sometimes it even felt like reading a text book.
However, when Tregillis wasn’t talking about quantum physics, the plot was pretty interesting. It was pretty fast paced in a lot of places but those places were overshadowed by the sheer amount of world building, and thus physics, that the novel had. I wish Tregillis hadn’t spent so much time on world building or that he would have made it easier and less clunky to read.
I honestly can’t recommend this novel. I’m really sorry to say this. And I debated even writing this review because there wasn’t anything particularly good to say about this novel. Unless you’re really interested in quantum physics and film noir, skip this read.