Publisher: New American Library, ROC
Review source: Library
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Series: Secret Histories, 6
Sixth in the Secret Histories urban fantasy series about a super secret-agent family that runs the world. (And I think it comes just after A Hard Day's Knight, Nightside #11)
Whoa...revelations and reunions in this one! Eddie and Molly are on their own in and the list of possible allies is long and terrifying with reasons aplenty not to request their aid.
I do enjoy this series, even if it does seem more of a not-so-great spin-off from the Nightside---it's that James Bond touch with action, oddities, and gadgets. Really cool gadgets!! Have I mentioned how much of a gadget-girl I am... It allows Green great leeway in his monstrous bad guys with all sorts of sarcastic asides. Eddie, of course, is the quintessential supernatural James Bond with a heart of gold while Molly is the Bond girl, with a lot more power and snark. Naturally, politics are essential in any organization, and the Drood Family has their fair share. They just plan nastier.
Methinks Molly doth protest too hypocritically. She certainly is attacking Eddie like nobody's business in this story. Phew. He does have a rather interesting comeback at one point with his response to her declaration that he was ready to work with the monsters. For that matter, why does Eddie have to hold to a higher standard than her?? Ooh, then there's that prejudice about half-blood Droods… What? Droods only marry Droods? Wouldn't that be a bit incestuous??
FINALLY. The family traitor is finally unmasked, and I must confess to being disappointed. It was too easy, and Molly has gotten a mite too cocky.
If the scarecrows were set to guard the estate perimenter, then where were they in that initial set of battles at Drood Hall? That battle at Crow Lee's estate...it just seemed a little too easy. Of course, maybe it needed to be quick so they could survive the inside of Crow Lee's house---oh, gag, the interior is enough to put you off food and bad guys for life…
Whoa, that's different. The trip that reveals a vast assortment of Drood Halls in other dimensions. It could be fun to visit a story in most any one of these.
An interesting ending. A whole new category of possible bad guys and a potential new career, sort of, for Eddie.
When we left Eddie and Mollie in For Heaven's Eyes Only, 5, they'd just come home from their vacation to find Drood Hall totally destroyed. All because of Alpha Red Alpha, and only chance allows them to learn that a slim hope exists.
Eddie Drood, a.k.a., Shaman Bond, is a somewhat rebellious Drood agent who is supposed to be based in London. Mollie Metcalf, Eddie's girlfriend, is the witch of the wild wood and hated by most Droods. Feared by almost everyone actually. Isabella and Louisa are her formidable sisters. Arthur Drood was Martha's first husband; seems Eddie wasn't the first rebel with a conscience.
Uncle Jack is the Armourer, or is it Uncle James? William is no longer the whacko Librarian with his new girlfriend around—Ammonia Vom Acht is the world's most incredible telepath. Ioreth is still William's assistant. Cedric (II) is still Serjeant-at-Arms. Callan is the Head of the War Room and Howard is in charge of Operations.
The Wulfshead Club is supposed to be neutral territory, but no longer. Eddie and Shaman are both barred after events in For Heaven's Eyes Only.
Ethel is the alien entity that took the place of the Heart. The scarecrows are the animated bodies of the Droods' worst enemies, and there are hundreds, including Laura Lye, a.k.a., the Liquidator, the water elemental assassin; Mad Frankie Phantasm; Roland the Headless Gunner; the Blue Fairy; and, the list just goes on forever. The dragon's head is still around. We can only hope he'll get his TV… Moxton was a family Armourer way back when who got obsessed with what the Drood family now calls Moxton's Mistake.
The Regent of Shadows, the most famous Drood rogue of all, and quite possibly Eddie's only hope, is quite "practical about matters of morality". Some of his special agents include Ankani; Patrick who appears to be the equivalent of a Drood Armourer; Diana uses the shadows to fight and fly; and, the Scarlet Lady is a Plymouth Fury and definitely a Bond car—if James Bond were a supernatural agent that is. The Phantom Berserker is more of a mascot. Miss Mitchell is an efficient secretary
The Department of the Uncanny is a government information-gathering organization. Catherine Latimer is the head of the Carnacki Institute which is based in Buckingham Palace.
Dave Chapman is the head of Plunder, Incorporated, (used to be the Road Rats) and does he have a nasty surprise coming. Madame Osiris operates as a fortune-teller on Brighton Pier. The Uptown Razor Boys, a.k.a., The Eton Irregulars, are nasty feral things (hmmm, wonder if Green had a bad time at boarding school?). Bunny Hollis is an ex-SAS combat sorcerer. Seems the Droods are long-time members of The Establishment Club.
Crow Lee is a necromancer and the Most Evil Man in the World—"he didn't join the Great Satanic Conspiracy because he thought they weren't extreme enough". No one can take him down, for he has too many allies at too many levels. Mr. Stab is playing bodyguard for a very particular fee. Major Tim Browten is a very formidable enemy with no compunctions. Unfortunately, Major Mike Michaels is even worse.
The Droods sprang from a Druid back at the beginning, almost, of time who made a deal with an alien entity. While they have watched over the world, time has made them too arrogant and governments around the world are plotting their advantages with the Droods dead. The Immortals were an ancient Drood enemy—a human had reached the Heart first and made his own deal, a deal replicated by another. Oathbreaker is one of the destructive weapons held secure in the Armageddon Codex. Supposedly.
The Original Traitor isn't even in it for the money.
The cover is Eddie's salvation as the imprisoned creature in the Maze is his and the world's only hope. I did like the juxtaposition of the almost blinding white light revealing the creature while the ominous orange sky above darkens.
The title is another take-off on a James Bond movie. It's also a snap in the face of a world that thinks it can do without Droods, so take that!