This book is: silly.
Other elements: urban fantasy, magic, adventure, saving-the-world, conspiracy theories, humor.
Read it: if you have the right sense of humor (do you enjoy Terry Pratchett? Monty Python?).
Overall rating: 7.25/10
You always know what you’re signing up for with Simon Green. Action, adventure, puns, blood, gore, colorful descriptions, literary references, almost-corny jokes. He is a witty and clever writer who enjoys being witty and clever. He’s very creative, and he goes all out. This is a silly book, but I mean that in the best way.
Simon Green is not afraid of going over the top. He loves the top. If you don’t like his writing, I suspect you’ll hate this book right away.
I wasn’t sold on this book for the first 10 pages or so. The James Bond references were too on-the-nose and the hero’s magical armor was too shiny and impenetrable. An indestructible hero is really boring. Thankfully, Green solved that really quickly with some violent elves and a mysterious, golden-armor-penetrating metal from another dimension. (There was also a UFO and living, cannibalistic cars.) I think you’re getting a sense of the book already.
The universe is the same as our own, except full of magical things that ordinary humans don’t notice. I enjoy that as a starting point. The main character is a member of the infamous Drood family, vigilantes who keep balance in the world with the power of their golden armor. Except, as the hero soon discovers, it may be more complicated than it appears. Expect many kinds of magical creatures, a sex robot, extreme piercings, plentiful violence, spiders and an unexpected romance along the way.
If you’ve never read any Simon Green, or if you’re curious but not convinced, I recommend his other book, Blue Moon Rising, as a better starting point. It’s pure fairy-tale-gone-wrong fantasy, and I enjoy it thoroughly. It’s also the first in a series, but it stands alone well.
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