Thursday, March 17, 2016
Ghost of a Chance by Simon R. Green
Synopsis From Back Cover:
The Carnacki Institute exists to Do Something About Ghosts. Lay them to rest, send them packing, or kick their nasty ectoplasmic arses with extreme prejudice.
The Institute's operatives are the best of the best. JC Chance: sharp, brave, charming, and almost unbearably arrogant; Melody Chambers: science-geek techno-wizard extraordinaire who keeps the antisupernatural equipment running smoothly; and Happy Jack Palmer: the telepath with the gloomy disposition, the last person anyone would want navigating through his head.
Their current assignment: investigate a major haunting deep underground at London's Oxford Circus Tube Station. Difficult - and dangerous - enough without the added interference of a pair of agents from the infamous Crowley Project whose mission is much simpler: eliminate Chance, Chambers, and Palmer, whatever the consequences...
I think by now, at least if you have followed the blog for any length of time, you guys know I'm a huge fan of the Secret Histories series by Simon R. Green. The story of the Eddie Drood and his family, protecting the world from supernatural, extraterrestrial, and other dimensional bad guys, never fails to entertain. It is a series full of humor, daring, and dry wit, that I couldn't help but fall in love from the beginning. In that series, we are introduced to an entire world of other organizations, beings, and clubs, who are either on the side of good, or on the side of world domination. The Carnacki Institute is one of those groups, and though Eddie doesn't think too much of them, I wanted to discover them for myself. I finally got around to purchasing the first three books in that series, and Ghost of a Chance is the first one.
If I had gone into this book, expecting the same sort of tone that I've gotten used to from the Eddie Drood books, I would have been wrong. This series has some of the same dry humor and wit, but the characters, and the story lines, take themselves a little bit more seriously. There isn't the tongue in cheek humor that I've gotten accustomed to from Simon R. Green, and I'm grateful for it. It was nice to experience a different style of writing from him, and it gives me hope that if I try some of the other series, set in this same world, that I would like them just as well. Where the the Drood novels are more of a James Bondy type of spy thriller, albeit one like you have never seen, the Ghost Finders novels are more in the line of Hell House by Richard Matheson. Of course that would mean Richard Matheson was writing Urban Fantasy novels, and I'm really not sure the world is ready for that one.
These guys are still facing major, world shaking adversaries, the type of which would have destroyed Buffy Summers, even if I worshiped the ground she slayed on. Where Eddie Drood will go in for the kill, all barrels blazing, because of the nature of their adversaries, our heroes of the Carnacki Institute have to use their brains just a bit more. Don't get me wrong, despite their lack of physical prowess, these guys can still kick ass if needed to, it's just that their brains get more of the workout. And between the three of them, there are some great brains involved.
I really like these characters, and though I kept wanting to compare them to Eddie Drood, it's just not a fair comparison. Not only are the tone and style of their respective series totally different, the tone of the two sets of characters couldn't be more different. If you took James Bond, turned him into a supernatural fighting Drudic Superhero, you get Eddie Drood, and that definition really doesn't come close to describing him. With our three heroes of the Carnacki Institute, it's more of a combination of Buffy and her Scooby Gang, meets Captain Jack and his team at Torchwood.
Bottom line is this, I already loved the Secret Histories series, and I'm falling in love with the Ghost Finders series. At this point in time, I'm almost positive that I picked up another series by Simon R. Green, I would love it as well. I love this author's style, his world building, and his character development. Between these two series, and a few others, I'm going to be a well read guy for a few more years.