Read Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis Online


Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone miSomething More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.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 Angels and gunsels, dames with eyes like fire, and a grand maguffin, Something More Than Night is a murder mystery for the cosmos....

Title : Something More Than Night
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765334329
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Something More Than Night Reviews

  • Amanda
    2019-06-14 10:33

    **I received a free copy of Something More Than Night from Tor in exchange for an honest review.**A swell angel, Gabriel, takes a powder by way of the big sleep. But what kind of button man has the juice to take down a big player like an archangel? It's not long before heavenly forces put the screws to Bayliss, a two bit angel confined to the dive known as Earth, where he's spent centuries tipping a little rye, smoking pills, and eyeing dishy kittens who know how to fill out a skirt. Heaven wants Bayliss to case the joint and find a mortal palooka he can knock off to fill Gabriel's slot in the universe. Hoping for a mark who won't ing-bing, Bayliss instead ends up with a flametop twist who stirs up all kinds of heavenly trouble. Now Bayliss is behind the eight ball, the immortal bulls want answers, and Bayliss suspects he and this new dame may be the patsys in a universal game of whodunit. Savvy?Of all the bookshelves, in all the towns, in all the world, this book makes it onto mine.Something More Than Night is going to appeal to a niche group of readers: hardcore noir aficionados, of whom I am not one. I like my noir like I like my coffee--black. But with sugar and cream and flavoring so it barely resembles coffee anymore. In other words, I like my noir to be not-so-noirish. Ian Tregillis presents a concept that sounds entertaining, but quickly becomes tedious. Beginning with the death of Gabriel as he flames across the night sky, questions are quickly asked by Bayliss, the only heavenly being who seems interested in getting to the bottom of the angel's murder. Through his investigation and the inclusion of Molly, the mortal Bayliss has bumped off to plug the hole in the universe left by Gabriel's untimely demise, we learn that, in the beginning, there was not light, but angels. Angels free to do and imagine the universe as they pleased until METATRON, the voice of a higher power, clipped the angels' wings by chaining them to the mortal realm. Denied the right to roam the universe as they once did, the angels chafed against their chains but their proximity to one another created the MOC (Mantle of Ontological Consistency) that ensured existence for mortals would continue through the angelic consensus of what reality is.As Molly comes to terms with her divinity and Bayliss seeks the truth behind Gabriel's murder, Tregillis builds a heaven of quantum physics only tinged by religious philosophy. While I enjoyed his vivid descriptions of the angelic hierarchy and the individual Magisteriums each angel builds as a personal hideaway, his descriptions of the universe veer into physics-based purple prose. Initially, I found this inventive and enjoyed passages such as:He'd been collecting little odds and ends since at least the double-digit redshifts. The interior reality of Gabriel's Magisterium burbled and shifted like convection currents in a star on the zaftig end of the main sequence. Because, I realized, that's what they were. Dull dim light, from IR to X-ray, oozed past me like the wax in a million-mile lava lamp while carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen nuclei did little do-si-dos about my toes. Every bubble, every sizzle, every new nucleus, every photodissociation tagged something of interest to Gabriel . . . Nuclear reactions unfolded with the calm susurration of solar wind upon Earth's atmosphere, seeding cloud formation and rain. Convective cells furled about me with the low, slow, sonorous peal of cathedral bells mourning a monarch's death. X-rays fizzed on my tongue . . ." (64).Got physics? Because you'll need it to slog your way through endless passages like this, which, while serving to capture the complexity and immensity of creation, do nothing but slow down the narrative. The combination of unceasing physics jargon with the unending noir slang became too much for me. Add to that the fact that Tregillis's world-building on the Earthly plane is sketchy at best (we get the sense that it is set in a dystopian future, but the futuristic elements seem wedged in and serve no defined purpose) and the novel begins to buckle under too many clever ideas. The ultimate twist is a letdown as it seems contrived to get the plot out of the corner it had painted itself into. As the reason for the narrative's reliance on the noir genre becomes obvious to the characters, one muses, "But why go to all this trouble? What did it achieve, turning himself into a hard-boiled detective pastiche in an archetypal story" (250).Why, indeed. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder and at Shelf Inflicted

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-06-08 14:00

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum Tregillis has impressed me in the past with his books in the Milkweed Triptych, which was why I got excited when I discovered that he was working on a new novel about angels. And not just about any angels; Something More Than Night is a hard-boiled noir detective story with the following tagline: "a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas's vision of Heaven" and features fallen angels, metaphysics, and a bizarre future. If that description didn't pique your interest or at least make you do a double-take, seriously, check your pulse!The story opens with a murder. The Archangel Gabriel is dead, his celestial remains falling to earth in a glorious light show in the starry sky, turning to snow as they drift into the mortal realm of the oblivious humans. No one notices the Seraphim's passing but Bayliss, a fallen angel who has made Earth his home for the last few hundred years. His mission is to find a mortal to take Gabriel's place is botched, however, when he accidentally knocks a hapless young woman under a street tram, causing her death and subsequent ascension to the ranks of the angelic Choir.Now not only does poor Molly need to come to terms with being dead, she also has to learn all that it means to be an angel - not to mention figure out why her predecessor was killed. But Gabriel's death turns out to be no ordinary murder. Molly's investigations with Bayliss lead her to uncover a huge secret that the Archangel had been keeping before he died, involving Jericho's Trumpet and an eons-old conspiracy that can alter the fate of the cosmos.I've only read the first two books in the Milkweed Triptych (with the third book on my list of must-buys, I assure you) but already Tregillis has cemented himself in my mind as a talented teller of stories and builder of worlds. I have found that his work is hard to pin down in terms of categorizing them; there really is no easy way to describe the unique way he mixes elements of speculative fiction with other genres. I am pleased to find is the same way with Something More Than Night, with its complex and often mind-bending plot and setting.When it comes to the world he has created in this book, I can only boggle in amazement. There is the earthly one, which gradually makes itself apparent to the reader that we are in a different time, a future in which the earth has clearly seen better days. But then there is also the "heavenly" world called the Pleroma, which is not all clouds and Pearly Gates, but instead something that is both more mundane and extraordinary at the same time. Tregillis has managed to completely floor me with his descriptions of Magisteria (what his angels call home) made of memories and jumbled senses, transforming the abstract into words and physics that I think may take a bit of patience to wrap your head around, but it's worth it in the end. I am still just so in awe.I also adore Ian Tregillis' writing style, which I've always figured was well suited for darker, more evocative stories, and as such I thought it was perfect for a book like this. Plus, I was just wowed by Bayliss' voice and mannerisms, which are straight out of a crime noir novel of the 30s or 40s. I think that was the most impressive of all, and it's obvious that great lengths were taken to make his character sound true to that particular era and genre. Admittedly, this makes Bayliss hard to understand at times, but I didn't mind slowing down to savor each and every one of his affectations or lines of dialogue. Really, the only thing I felt was a bit off was the "twist". I like it when unexpected things happen in a book, but it's an entirely different matter when everything I thought I knew or was led to believe gets turned around on its head, and that took a little something away from me. Still, it's such a minor complaint seeing as how it was part and parcel of the story, and ultimately everything in the book came together so well. When it comes down to it, I'm pretty confident Something More Than Night will be unlike any book you've ever read. As always, Ian Tregillis blows me away with his talent and inventive ideas. For something totally original and different, check out this book and author.

  • Caleb Hill
    2019-06-04 10:54

    Don’t you just love the cover? The colors blend very well, red and black. That silhouette of a smoking gangster perfectly encapsulates the narrator, a fallen angel impersonating some Philip Marlowe. That detail is shown off by the stunning wings. Really eye catching. Then you have the cityscape in the background. I mean, if I could ask for the perfect Fantasy Noir cover, this would come extremely close.But wait. What’s that? Why the hell is there a red X? Who put that atrocity there, and why?It was random, and I believe that sums up why this is one of the most disappointing reads of 2013.Tregillis paints a very verbose picture with a gumshoe narrator as the means for this. 30s slang you would find in a Chandler novel is right at home between these dusky ends. But that slang can create confusion. Not enough to deter the reader, but some. The opposite POV to Bayliss, the fallen angel, catches some of this befuddlement the reader has.However, this connection dies when she mopes for half the book, screws up the entire world, and still decides to do things “her way.” Because it worked the first few times. Bayliss is nothing bad; his POV was extremely fun, but Molly’s was enough to make me ask a bear to tear my eyeballs out. She could be really infuriating.But that’s not the big qualm. Not by a long shot.I’ll just note that when you have a PhD in Physics, that does not give you the excuse to write an entire book where only a physicist could understand it. I don’t read to have funny jargon bounce off my brain. When used sparingly to help differentiate between angels and humans, this tid-bit of worldbuilding is okay. When you go pages and pages without ever uttering a single piece of dialogue, all to shove this introspection and intelligence down our throats, it is not.“And so it was evident to her freshly expanded consciousness that the mortal epsilon METATRON had embedded into every angel was analogous to a color charge in QCD. Quarks could never escape their chromodynamic confinement with each other; energetically, it was always more favorable to generate a quark/antiquark pair than to sever the gluon bond.”And it keeps going…So yes, I stopped halfway through. I made the comment that if the next page didn’t have dialogue in it, I would quit. Guess what? A book that’s barely 300 pages long manages to focus on ideas instead of plot or even characters. Maybe it’s a thinly disguised piece of non-fiction.If the technicalities don’t put you off, by all means, pick up this book. I’ve heard his Milkweed Triptych is a grand trilogy, even if you do put a fancy word in there. But Something More Than Night is not some read you’ll sit down to enjoy. It’s thinking material, and not in the way I usually love. It’s thick, and there’s no reason for that.Now, if you wanted an excellent 1st person hardboiled tale set in some dystopia, cluttered with a lot of pop references and perhaps a meandering plot like this, I would heartily recommend Andrez Bergen’s debut, Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat. At least that one has sense enough to pull strong dialogue in with the introspection.

  • Jason
    2019-05-24 06:58

    4.5 stars.Something More Than Night was almost a perfect read for me. This novel perfectly blends a 1940s detective noir and fantasy and twists it with a little bit of science fiction. The book reads dark and dirty from start to finish. There is a great deal of philosophy and physics as well. I love this book, I devoured it. It played right to my favorite genres. The writing of Ian Tregillis is a pleasure having a lot of fun to read. This novel could've been my first amazing read of 2014. It nearly was. Unfortunately, this book suffers from a very poor out of sync ending. Oh well, what are you going to do it still doesn't detract from how great of a read this is."Gabriel streaked across the heavens like a tumbling meteor, his corpse a fireball of sublimated perfection. He had been a creature of peerless majesty, but now the throes of his death etched the firmament." Bayliss is a classic noir novel anti hero. He is basically an asshole with morals and a code of honor. His first person narration was simply incredible. Bayliss easily carried this story and will be remembered.Ian Tregillis is a spectacular writer. His dialogue is fresh and witty and full of sexism and egotism. His take on Heaven, Angels, and their relationships to humans is very creative. His world building had my mind ablaze. A great example of the feel of his noir:"It used to be that things were quiet and simple. The way I like it. But then Gabby had gone and gotten himself scratched, and I had gotten tangled up with flametop, and it had been one damn thing after another ever since. Trouble was her business. That cluck had me wrapped up so tight I spent most of my time staring at the back of my own head. Much more of that and I have saved a small fortune on corkscrews."After just this read I now consider myself a fan of Ian Tregillis. I cannot wait to read more of his works. Something More Than Night almost pulled off the perfect blend of fantasy and Detective Noir. This is a black and white and dirty book that is filled with gray and smoke and mystery. But it suffers that Tregillis decided to put in a technicolored Disney princess type of ending. It's simply did not fit. If I didn't love everything up to that point I would've given this book poor marks. I still give this book my highest recommendations.

  • Jasper
    2019-05-17 12:59

    originally posted at: I first read about Something More Than Night, I knew that I HAD to read this book. I have been steadily exploring the angelic side of urban fantasy in the last year and these book aren't just pretty cool, their are awesome. There is wide variety of influences on how these stories are being told, for example The Watchers by John Steele and Blood and Feather: Rebellion by Lou Morgan are completely different. The promise of Something More Than Night, again showed a new direction, a noir detective story featuring fallen angels. I have only read Bitter Seeds, the first book in the Milkweed Triptych and I was amazed by Ian Tregillis's story telling and his imagination. I can tell you upfront that Something More Than Night is something completely different but just as brilliant. Something More Than Night, picked me up from the first pages. You are immediately thrown in the deep, the Angel Gabriel has been murdered, but who has done this deed is unknown. I have to give full praise to how Ian Tregillis wrote the introduction to the story, the scene that described this all was just immaculately, I will probably say this word more often but it's just sheer brilliance. Soon after this you get to meet up with the protagonist of Something More Than Night, the fallen angel Bayliss. I was very pleased with how his character was shown all throughout the story from the way he talks to the way he acts and his all attitude combined. He is what you are going to say a old school mobster. His slang really helped to set the mood just right. Bayliss is leading the investigation as to who murdered Gabriel and where the heck the Jericho Trumpet has gone off too. With Bayliss, Ian Tregillis has created a rock solid and like I mentioned pretty interesting protagonist. His whole attitude towards partly nonchalence and layed back but when it comes down to dealing Bayliss doesn't spare anyone. Next to Bayliss there is another character in Something More Than Night, Molly. Now it is said that it happened due to chance, the "accident" with Bayliss and Molly. This accident is only the start of it all as Bayliss feels compelled to help guide Molly into her new life as an angel, this leads up to some quite interesting dialogues and situations. They have this very strong love-hate relationship. This decision of Ian Tregillis to have Bayliss guide Molly into her new role was great, by this interaction you as a reader learned much more about the dynamics of the world until deep into the fine details, pacing wise this was a solid decision as there was never a moment wherein explaining the events felt as a story dump but it all came natural, keeping the flow of the story right. Getting back to Molly, her storyline does largely coincide with that of Bayliss, but she is still going her own way. For Molly she has to come to terms with what is to be dead.. and an angel.. and still able to interact with her surrounding but with some horrible consequences. I really liked the transition that Molly underwent from reading her first thoughts when she was still human, to when she died and came back right down until the end. But this isn't all that takes place in her story, Bayliss is carrying out his own investigation. But Molly soon takes the reigns into her own hand and makes some discoveries of herself... both for the better and worse for the parties involved. The plot twist that you are introduced to is just wow, you are being led into one direction and then all of a sudden like a doorslamming close you are being woken up and confronted with some of the bestest (yeah i know, it isn't a word) plot twist that I have read. It put a huge slime on my face!If I think about it, Something More Than Night is my first noir detective themed story and if I am going to be totally honest, I have no clue as to what the references might mean with the Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler inspiration as with Thomas Aquinas's vision of Heaven. I can google it but then still I have no experience whatsoever. However not having this knowledge didn't take anything, I just approached it as a mean mobster type of story and I think a bit in essence, especially how Bayliss talks is downright a classic kind off mobster style which is thoroughly liked. This noir themed story isn't only held together by how Bayliss does his thing, if you look at the whole story from world building to the characters is so rich and combined with the solid narration that Ian Tregillis provides everything resonates even more. From the first page of Something More Than Night it feels like you are in a mobster movie, however, as soon as you see the references to the world where the story takes place, it isn't in the normal mobster era. It inspires something of an science fiction future, where the world has definitely changed from what we all know. I really liked the occasional references to the surroundings of the world in which the story took place (on "Earth" that is, I will get to some other dimensions soon). It really embodied a grand, dark and gritty feeling to the story, and with the angel theme it rang that much stronger. But the story of Something More Than Night doesn't only takes place on Earth, like I mentioned above there is an extra dimension added to the story, literally that is. There is this place called Pleroma, which is the version of Heaven there is also something known as the Magisterium, the personal Heaven of the angels in the story. When these places are visited in the story it on one part inspires this feeling of heaven but with some very heavy undertones of a shadowy feeling. It just comes to show that this version of Heaven isn't what we think it is, throw away your vision of the perfect place... What I have been able to glimpse from the Milkweed Triptych and now Something More Than Night, if you read a story of Ian Tregillis, your in for a good one, he shows you his vision, his idea's and his world on platter and your on a front row seat! Besides these heavenly things, there is something more, the Voice of God, METATRON, just reading about this inspired fear in me, however when you see how several characters think about what this voice actually is makes you yourself wonder..Something More Than Night is a great story, wait stop, no, it's brilliant. This is the stuff you want to read. To start, the idea behind the story is interesting to say the least and the execution of the story makes it even more so. From the characters of Bayliss and Molly down to the dark tinged near future/post apocalytic feel that the world gives it's one heavenly hell of a ride, where Ian Tregillis invites you on in a front row seat. I cant wait to see what kind off story Ian Tregillis will give us next, but I know that it will be a success.

  • Ctgt
    2019-06-08 10:54

    4 stars inching toward 5.Everything was important to somebody at one time or another. We'll forget who we are if we forget who we were.The Archangel Gabriel is dead. More to the point, it looks like he got whacked. That's the story at the core of this book, a murder mystery but oh, so much more than that. We are introduced to the two main characters Bayliss, a lesser angel who happens to wrap himself in all the noir cliches you can think of, and Molly(Moll) a recently deceased "dame" who is chosen by Bayliss to take the place of Gabriel.This is set in a dystopian future and initially it seemed as though the book would be a tweaking of the old school Chandler and Hammett style. Well, not so fast.The first sighting had occurred in the ontological boondocks. I parked on a cliff overlooking the shoreline where the churning surf of quantum information paradoxes boomed against the shoals of non-isotropic dimensionality.The story starts careening about, throwing around ideas. From Pleroma to the Mantle of Consistency(MOC), from Philo Vance to Gustave Dore, from Plenary Indulgences to METATRON(the Voice of God), from teleology to quantum physics(at least what I assume is quantum physics, I really wouldn't know), Seraphim, Cherubim, Nephilim, heilegenschein , Uriel and the list goes on.The knoll overlooked a narrow sound formed by multidimensional breakwaters of quantum indeterminacy. Slow ripples of mathematical entropy lapped at the shoreline, eroding the non-Abelian symmetry groups along the waters edge into towering pillars of salt.The heart of the story for me was Molly and her struggles to figure out who she is in this new reality, what is allowed and who she can trust. The storytelling moves back and forth between the two main characters and combined with all the ideas that Tregillis kept throwing at me, it did take some time for me to get a feel for the flow of the narrative but once I got in the groove this book really kept me turning the pages.Notes of aesthetic perfection peppered the concert. It was as though random fragments of the symphony shone through a prism of spirit, stripping away the vast spectrum of human fallibilty to leave pure unfiltered perfection.Lest you think there aren't any Chandler/Hammett moments:I studied the newcomers:a mugg with a bit of high-class fluff on his arm. Ink on his neck, and his heavy coat swayed against the wind. Something solid in his pocket. Was he rodded? Maybe the twist at his elbow liked the thrill of running with a wrong gee.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-11 08:56

    Something More Than Night might seem, on the surface, to be yet another who-done-it type of noir novel, but rest assured that this is something totally different. Tregillis combines his incredible prose, and stunningly complex world filled with unforgettable characters to create something new, nuanced, and different. This book is impossible to put down, and is an incredibly fast mover. It’s totally different than anything I’ve read from the author before, but that’s not a bad thing. Something More Than Night shows Tregillis at his finest. If it might take a little patience to be able to visualize everything that is taking place, and the world it is taking place in, but the patience will pay off ten fold. This is one of those books you shouldn’t miss.Read my full review here:

  • Linette
    2019-05-20 10:40

    Well, that was different.This is a story about a 40s noir detective angel, but with sci-fi, fantasy and dystopian overtones.Yeah, really. Told from two POVs, a fallen angel named Bayliss who is more of a two-bit hack detective than any angel I've ever heard of before. I liked him :)The second POV is a flametop dame named Molly who had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the right time. She's one tough cookie and I loved her story.The only thing keeping me from giving this a full 5 stars is the occasional scientific info-dumps that spun my brain and stopped the story dead in its tracks...a little would have been a lot better than a lot. The world and the concepts were pretty cool, though.This was a fun romp with a twisty ending and I liked it.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-23 09:37

    2.5 stars, just for BaylissThis book was hard for me to get into; as soon as I got the hang of Bayliss's character and started to enjoy myself, the book started giving me science overload and I couldn't keep up. Here's one sentence, just as an example of what I am talking about: "The mundane fragments contaminating the angels in the wake of Jericho were akin to a color charge coupling them via a celestial analogy to the asymptotic freedom of quantum chromodynamics." Doing my best to charge through what I didn't understand, the story and characters were just ok for me, Bayliss being my only highlight.

  • Sara
    2019-05-19 05:30

    On a micro, sentence-by-sentence level, this book was great. Think noir-ish slang (occasionally taken to Clockwork Orange levels of impenetrability) interspersed with astrophysics. Time was running short. I studied the newcomers: a mugg with a bit of high-class fluff on his arm.Ink on his neck, and his heavy coat swayed against the wind. Something solid in his pocket. Was he rodded? Maybe the twist at his elbow liked the thrill of running with a wrong gee.AndI stayed outside, drawing smoke into my lungs until the final cinders of shattered Seraphim faded from the junkyard sky. I finished my cigarette while Gabriel’s final echoes dissipated. The light of a distant quasar twinkled with chromatic aberration as the fine-structure constant gave him a farewell salute from the twenty-first decimal place.Fantastic. I was impressed, too, because his other books were written in a very straight-forward way. Not in a bad way, of course. Just not in a way that tickles the mind. And this definitely tickled me.I also loved Molly. She's smart. She doesn't roll over for anyone. She cares about her screwed-up brother and her ex-girlfriend. All of this was especially great because noir has such a terrible track record with female characters. It would have been easy and conventional to make her a stereotype.Sadly, on a macro level this book was a mess. There were long, beautifully-written scenes that didn't serve to advance the plot, increase my understanding of how the world works, or tell me much about the characters (I'm thinking of the couple chapters Molly spent messing with her Magisterium, among others). Bayliss' scenes needed better framing, or something, to make certain revelations make any sort of sense. Spoilers below.(view spoiler)[Bayliss' viewpoint makes no sense. The possibilities are two: they can be taken as his experiences as they happen to him, or they can be taken as the version of his experiences that he fed to Molly. The former is impossible, because it would directly contradict later information (specifically, he wouldn't have had to break into Gabriel's Magisterium to steal Molly's memory fragment because he had actually stolen it when she died). The latter interpretation is...puzzling. For example, he tells the Cherubim in Gabriel's Magisterium "I go by Bayliss now." This is a hint to us about his true identity. But if he was fabricating the entire story for Molly, why would he bother adding a detail like that?Was he actually getting beat up? How much of the Choir was in on this? What actually made him pick Molly, of all people? How much of what Bayliss said and did was a lie? How long has he been on Earth in this form? What the hell was going on with the Nephilim? Who came up with the idea for them, and how did they know it would work? Why (and how) did the Nephilim work as a distraction for Metatron? What is Metatron and where did it come from? It yoked the Choir to humanity to create the MOC, but the MOC was necessary for humanity to exist. Which came first: humanity or the MOC? If the MOC came first, then what were they yoked to? I think it was mentioned at one point that the destruction of the satellites (and creation of space debris) was to keep humans on Earth, because if they left Earth then the angels could follow. Why can't some of the Choir be allowed to leave Earth?Bayliss would almost make sense if he was a fragment that Gabriel sent down during the heyday of noir. Perhaps, after a while, he'd be so diminished (compared to his original form) and steeped in noir clichés that he'd forget what he was. Gabriel could very well have been reduced to communicating with his errant soul-piece through patterns in leaves or atomic radiation or whatever. The only problem with this theory is that, by the end, it's revealed that Bayliss was totally in on the whole plan. So...yeah. (hide spoiler)]There is so much about the plot that I don't understand, and the holes are so big I can't ignore them. Sadly.

  • Jill
    2019-06-01 05:48

    Okay I gotta do it.THIS BOOK HAS EVERYTHING.Superdimensional beings humanity has deemed angels; hard-boiled noir detectives and dames; science jargon; ontological and teleological inquiry; queer characters whose sexuality is incidental (yay!!); predictable but engaging whodunnits; apocalyptic undertones; and that thing of when you carry a midget over your shoulder while he sings gangsta rap.Sorry no not that last one I CAN'T HELP IT I miss Stefon.In seriousness though: this book may be trying to do too much, but damn does it do it in style.Here's the thing: I love Christian mythology. Love it. Am functionally atheist; find anything about the Church boring (or, for that matter, the religion itself); roll my eyes at Jesus Saves fishies -- but friends, pass me the Bible and I will eat it the eff up. Any reimagining of the stories, figures, angels, dark ones (particularly Judas; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ Superstar get me all wide-eyed), whatever -- love it. The magic of Christian culture is in the stories and archetypes, not the church, and the stories are as juicy and brilliant as anything in "pagan" mythology.So this book comes along, with its very sci-fi interpretation of the Choir of Angels --- and you better believe I'm putty in its pages.Okay, not entirely. For the majority of this book, I was leaning towards 2 stars. A lot of really absurd things happen without motivation or buildup -- deus ex machina, literally? ha ha? But the bigger problem is that Tregillis -- for all the decency of his prose (and man, some of the noir phrasing is really fun) -- has trouble being consistent. Something More Than Night takes place circa 2100 AD, and there's no world-building to show for it. Sometimes there are references to a space war with the Chinese or "century-old trip-hop," but everything is very...2010, if you know what I mean. On that front, it fails.It also fails with some of the plot points, most of them revolving around Molly (our sharp-tongued heroine) -- partially because, I'd venture, Tregillis was so excited about the concepts he'd built up that the plot making sense..didn't necessarily matter all that much. But credit where it's due -- his concept is pretty damn cool.The Choir of Angels are actually creepy-as-shit aliens, tethered unhappily to Earth by Metatron, who goes batshit if you try to fuck with the constraints of reality. They all, unwillingly, work together to maintain the universe's laws of nature -- but they hate humans, they hate the limits placed upon them, and they want out. And then there's Bayliss (view spoiler)[-- who may or may not be the Devil(hide spoiler)]-- our plucky, low-grade angel of a protagonist who's based his life on pulp detective novels. Gabriel -- six-winged chimera of a Seraphim he is -- is murdered. Shit gets real. Bayliss is tapped to replace him with a mortal (Molly) -- but, of course, there's more going on than meets the eye.Some of it is painfully obvious, but in the end, it's surprisingly well-written and you almost don't care. The book kind of feels unfinished, or at least unedited, but it's brimming with interesting ideas about life, attachment, fiction, and Christianity (and not in that eye-glazing boring way, promise).Special shoutout, too, to Molly being a lesbian without it being a major plot point. It matters, but not in that ~~~~SHE IS A LESBIAN~~~~~~ way that so many queer characters fall into. It's refreshing to read a queer character whose sexuality (to borrow from Cosima Niehaus) isn't the most interesting thing about her.All in all: an exceptionally fun, but objectively mediocre read. Worth it if you like your angels morally ambiguous and your heaven a vaccuum, or if you're in the mood for some pulp that's more intelligent than usual.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Chip
    2019-05-24 07:37

    This was OK, but not great. In part that was because I found Bayliss's affection (in speech, mannerisms and his Magisterium) for the pulp era illogical (and thus annoying). Why would an immortal angel fixate on that one time period? If an angel actually would fixate on a time period - wouldn't it have done so long, long ago? How did he talk and what did his Magisterium look like before the '20s and '30s? (view spoiler)[Of course, 75% of the way through the book .... ohhhhhh. (hide spoiler)]In sum, not a waste of time, but unfortunately I didn't care for this as much as Tregillis's Milkweed trilogy (which was excellent).

  • Kristin(MyBookishWays Reviews)
    2019-06-04 05:58 an Seraphim dies, the heavens scream with pain and the monkeys below (that would be us humans) usually perceive its death as just so much space junk. So, when Gabriel is murdered, the fallen angel Bayliss turns his face up to the sky to witness his death, and he also must find someone to take his place, but the mark that he picks out isn’t the one that ends up dead. Molly’s not sure what hit her when her body disintegrated on those train tracks, but the world she’s now in isn’t the one she left, and Bayliss is the only rudder she has in her new reality. Too bad for her, because they don’t exactly get along like gangbusters. Not only has an angel been murdered, but the Jericho Trumpet is missing, and Heaven is in distress. Who murdered Gabriel, and where is the Trumpet? Looks like Bayliss and Molly are the ones that have to find out, but at what cost?Most of the book is told from Bayliss’s viewpoint, and those familiar with the works of Dashiell Hammett will recognize a good bulk of Bayliss’s affectations. Angels each have their own Magesteriums in the Pleroma (get out your physics and theology texts folks), and Bayliss’s Magesterium comes complete with an old time café where he can get coffee and keep an eye on the dames. As fun as Bayliss’s story was, I found myself wanting to get back to Molly more often than not. She’s a fish out of water when it comes to her new powers and surroundings, and she’s also still pining for her ex-girlfriend, who left her heartbroken. It doesn’t help that her brother is an addict, and he also witnessed her death. Much of Molly’s journey is coming to terms with her own death and her still strong ties to humanity and the ones she left behind. Yes, there’s a fascinating mystery (a murdered angel!!), and when it becomes clear that a group of angels want to break free from heaven, things really got wild, but it’s Molly’s story that, for me, made this book so damn good.I’m not going to lie. Ian Tregillis has a doctorate in physics and boy does it show in this book. I was never so happy to have the dictionary feature on my Kindle (I used it a lot, and am not ashamed to admit it.) Don’t let that scare you away, though. I learned the terms pretty quickly and Tregillis is so good, his language just flows. I loved his reach-out-and-touch-it descriptions of memory and what I started to think of as the science of heaven. His prose made some of the sad passages (and there are a few), that much more poignant. Just be ready, though: there are a few surprises in this one that may make you exclaim out loud (I did, earning funny looks from my family.) Something more than night is a complex, exquisite, wonderfully written book, and it’s taken me forever to post this review because I didn’t feel like I was doing it justice-but this will have to do. If you like fantasy that’s a bit out of the box and a lot awesome (with enough noir seasoning to please a Hammett fan,to boot), Something More Than Night will make you a very happy reader, indeed.

  • Koeur
    2019-05-22 10:39 Macmillan-Tor/Forge Publishing Date: Dec 2013 ISBN: 9780765334329 Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4.3/5.0Publisher Description: 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. Review: Fug me was this a great read. In one instant it is freakishly bizarre in the Angels realm and at once riveting as we follow our hero’s through the Mundane (earthly) realm. This novel has it all; characters so bizarre you have to cast your creative imaginings to a place seldom visited coupled with alien thought processes, compelling humanistic situations/characters, impeccable story-line development, creative insight into machinating minds of Angels and humans, and above all this hilarity in the guise of cryptic witticisms embedded in the antiquated verbiage of the 1920′s. I like the cover art except for the big red X on it. Kind of ruins the whole “Marlowe Angel” effect. This novel reminds me of the ramblings of Tom Robbins’s, “Still Life With Woodpecker” if he put his twist on Angels, the realm of Angels and their universal interactions. There is this constant banter by Bayliss that provides comedic relief at every turn. His caustic wit is spot on and highly inventive. Molly, whom is set to take the place of Gabriel, develops into a wonderful character as she learns about her powers as a newly formed Angel. She is a great humanistic component to the story-line that beats savagely at the paradox that surrounds her life. She is at once hard edged and achingly open to love, much like ourselves if we allow life’s agonies into our souls.Some passages can drag on a bit, but I found myself reading through them as it added weight to the story. Usually I relegate this to the author’s mode of providing page filler, but not in this case. These passages provided insight into the characters, especially Molly, as she trips and falls on her way to becoming a realized Angel. The author explains his bizarre universe in captivating detail, that is still hard to visualize in the context and scale, described. How do you visualize the universe and the physics that support it without adding your own visual experiences to help render it in a cogent fashion? Tough stuff, but fun all the same. Some reviewers had a hard time with the authors use of physics to describe and develop his world, to the point where there was just too much information that didn’t make sense. I get that, but did not get too hung up on it. I just applied our own sense of reality to situations and scenes where I had no descriptive insight. Even if parts of this novel may confuse, I would buy it for the Banter and wit of Bayliss, the emotive and compelling, Molly and the mystery that unfolds within the story-line.

  • Jess
    2019-05-31 13:38

    The book nearly lost me at first. I wasn't in the mood. Thought the noir slang thick as a bull's noggin and about as easy to get through to, as Bayliss, one of the two unreliable narrators might say. But I kept reading, and I'm glad that I did. Something More Than Night is a mystery that owes a lot of its tone and story arc to the tarnished-up gray-scale amorality of the noir genre. I found the ending to be the kind of ending I want to talk about with somebody.This is how Something More Than Night begins: With Bayliss, a low-grunt angel, watching the fall-out from Gabriel's murder from Earth. Angels can't be murdered, but apparently somebody managed it. Bayliss appears to be acting at the nod of conspirator's far above his pay-grade who he wants nothing to do with. What's he there to do? He's there to tap somebody to replace Gabriel's position in the firmament by giving them a spark of divinity and causing their death just-after. The second narrator, Molly, is the woman who gets in the way and winds up taking the slot, and it's really only her viewpoint is added that the world becomes more than Bayliss's performance. Molly's capable of selfishness and unselfishness, impulsive or deliberate decision, and she's a great character and a great partner view-point for Bayliss's. It's following Molly around that we learn, as she learns, about what it means to be an angel like her in Ian Tregillis's world, and really unknot the murder mystery / conspiracy. Reading Molly reacting to learning about the events of a chapter Bayliss just went through and vice versa helped make the story so effective.And it is quite a story.Be prepared for physics jargon, but don't let yourself be put-off by that. I'm the least science-jargon friendly person in the world, but I understood the points Ian Tregillis was driving at just fine. To be honest, I thought some of the physics jargon along with musical jargon was a great way to really drive home the strange grandeur of the world the angels inhabited. I don't expect clouds. I expect something Awesome, using the non-slang defintion of the word, and that's what I got. I also got an interesting philosophical conception of the universe, an action-packed mystery thoughtfully told by Bayliss in terms a human could understand, and -- I'm afraid if I say anything more I'll give away something that's better discovered through reading. Don't let the noir jargon put you off either, because even the thickness of it has a story reason.I liked it. I'd recommend it to a number of people, but I'd also assure them that it comes together at the end; not because I feel that it doesn't stand on its own from the beginning onward, but because some elements aren't what we're used to next to other elements, and it'd be a shame if that put someone off.If you like John C. Wright, I'd definitely give it a whirl.

  • Gerhard
    2019-05-29 09:39

    Only a physicist working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as Ian Tregillis is according to his brief ‘About the Author’ bio at the end of this book, would remark that “it was always more favourable to generate a quark/antiquark pair than to sever the gluon bond”.All the average reader can do is shrug and shoulder bravely on, in the sincere hope that the author knows what the fuck he is talking about. Well, Tregillis does. Something More than Night, in its eccentricity of subject matter and intoxication with verbal badinage, reminded me of M. John Harrison’s Kefahuchi Tract trilogy.I cannot come up with a more succinct plot description than Alex Brown on, who writes that this is “a story about a murdered archangel, a tool of righteous fury, a heavenly host of pissed off beings that can alter the very shape or reality, a dead femme fatale and a chain-smoking wannabe Philip Marlowe.”The Marlowe bit is the key stylistic cachet here, as Tregillis delivers a delirious and book-long riff on noir jargon and tropes. Of course, this foregrounds a very sophisticated discussion of the latest in cosmological pontification.You can read this as a straightforward thriller. Or as part of the dialectic started by Philip Pullman and His Dark Materials trilogy about the quantum nature of reality and its socio-religious implications. Tregillis’s version of God here is termed the Mantle of Ontological Consistency, as maintained by Metatron (not to be confused with Transformers; this is the Chancellor of Heaven we are talking about).Beyond all this though, Something More than Night is immense fun to read, and beautifully written to boot. Tregillis clearly delights in his main conceit, but does not let the philosophy or the science overwhelm the joie de vivre of his storytelling.Sadly, whether this is SF or fantasy is bound to be a sticking point with our more pedantic readers. SF fans are likely to be puzzled by the lack of aliens or other genre staples, while fantasy readers are likely to be confused by the heavy palette of quantum theory that colours everything with Cherenkov hues (that’s a joke).Let us simply conclude that Something More than Night is Literature At Its Finest, and leave it at that.

  • Kyle Muntz
    2019-06-03 08:31

    This is essentially the ultimate high-concept novel: a murder mystery set in Heaven after the death of the archangel Gabriel, narrated like a hardboiled novel by Raymond Chandler... and, probably most surprising, heavily informed by very advanced physics. Tregillis gives us a very complex picture of heaven, "the pleroma," and a universe built on "quantum angel dynamics" and modern physics--which is hugely important in the general arc of the novel, as well as tons of long, descriptive passages, where physics jargon (a lot of which went over my head) mingles with the noir voice. The result is completely unlike any book I've ever read: it's smart, authoritatively written, and very strange, starting as a straightforward exploration of Tregellis' heaven and ending on a hugely cosmological scale. I'm not sure what to compare it to exactly, but, though they're both very different, the closest modern SF writer I know is Peter Watts--who, despite completely different matter, they're both incredibly concept heavy and write with a similarly forceful, pristine voice.On the other hand, the novel isn't perfect. The characters were relatively well-rendered, but fell a bit flat, and there quite a few times I felt the scaffolding of important scenes was missing, plus hints of a near-future setting element that didn't contribute anything to the book. Also, though I'm not going to attach much judgement to this, as some other reviewers have mentioned, the book is actually very difficult and dense--with long, sometimes almost incomprehensible passages of mingled physics jargon and Noir dialect.I don't think that makes it less impressive though. The book is exactly what it says it is and quite a bit more, and it's ambitious enough I don't expect it to be perfect. Basically if you like the idea I think it's worth checking out, and you definitely won't regret it.

  • Paul Genesse
    2019-05-22 12:52

    MIND BLOWING NOIR FANTASY(no spoilers)This is one of those novels that blows your mind. I’ve never read anything like Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis. I was a huge fan of his Milkweed Tryptych novels and was excited to read this book as well. The style of Something More Than Night reaches for the stars, combining old school hardboiled detective noir (Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler) with the concept of Heaven as described by Thomas Aquinas.The book starts with the death of the arch angel Gabriel, and follows Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel with an over the top Philip Marlowe fetish. I think I was first exposed to the famous private detective, Marlowe in the 1946 Humphrey Bogart movie, “The Big Sleep.” As I read this book I pictured Bogart as Bayliss and heard the prose in Bogart’s “Marlowe” voice. It was awesome. The audio book would be amazing.The twists and turns in this book are second to none as Bayliss investigates the murder of the arch angel Gabriel, and “mentors” a new addition to the angelic host, poor Molly, who is the other point of view character. I found the mystery quite fascinating, and you really have to think sometimes, as the concepts are not elementary. Tregillis is a physicist in real life and goes into some detail regarding certain concepts, but I could just read over the stuff I didn’t understand.The real beauty in Something More Than Night is naturally the interesting characters and the near future Earth setting. I was transported to a place I’ve never been before, though it was quite familiar, and I loved the expertly written prose.If you’re a fan of detective novels, the film or literary noir genre, this novel will blow your mind.Paul Genesse

  • Gabe
    2019-05-16 11:58

    There is only one question you need to consider when deciding whether to read this book or not.Have you ever wondered what would happen if a noir starring biblically correct angels - those with only two wings need not apply - were written by someone with a PhD in Physics?The book opens with an impossible murder. Before you ask: yes, I am using that term correctly, and no, that doesn't mean the murder didn't happen. That's just the sort of book it is. Pros: there are some fun and truly impressive Big Ideas (tm) in this book. I found it to be great fun, and the writing is quite good when jargon is not getting in the way. I also very much enjoyed the noir slang and plot, though reactions to it were somewhat mixed among people I know who have read the book.Cons: There is a fair bit of advanced Physics jargon in this book. You don't need to understand it to enjoy the book (I didn't), and the reason it is in there is extremely cool, but it does get tedious in places.Also, some percentage of people who read this book will be very upset by a revelation late in the story. I did not have this reaction myself, nor did my wife, but at least one friend did. Alas, dear reader, I cannot give you enough information to predict whether you will have this reaction without spoiling a major component of the plot, so I will not.I encourage you to to pick this up in the book store or get a trial on your Kindle and read the first few pages. If you're anything like me, there will be no possible future in which you don't read the book once that happens.

  • Sue
    2019-06-08 08:30

    Mixing angels with noir mystery and physics sounds like a shortcut to a hot mess, but Something More Than Night makes it work. The voice of Bayliss, the angel and part-time first person narrator, is pure Raymond-Chandler-Dashiell-Hammet-Humphrey-Bogart and feels absolutely true to that era. Only gradually does it become apparent that this is a different time, and a whole series of different "memory palaces." The very complex world-building of this novel is done with style and elegance--so much information is given unobtrusively. There are many arcane, (at least to me), references to physics, philosophy, theology--but the story is never obscured or weighted down with them. The scene is set, the characters are fully realized and delightful, and the plot zooms along, building suspense and altering reality. I did slow down to really enjoy the writing, especially when Bayliss is talking. I would recommend this to noir fans, urban fantasy fans, and anyone who liked the movie "Dogma"--(whenever the Metatron is mentioned I always think Alan Rickman). Ian Tregillis is an awesome talent. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy.

  • Matt
    2019-06-13 10:31

    Man, I haven't written a review in forever, but I have to now.I really liked Tregillis's Milkweed Triptych. It was imaginative, the ending worked like crazy, it had panache. Tregillis has an odd rhythm, but one that's easy enough to get the hang of.But man. This book. I'm finally stopping after 117 pages because man, this isn't good. A lot of people have talked about the physics-talk, and yeah, that's obnoxious. But the Chandler pastiching. I've read Chandler before, and you, Mr. Tregillis, are no Raymond Chandler. It reads more like somebody went through a Chandler or Hammett novel in order to collect as much slang as possible, supplanted it with the quaintness of Golden Age superhero comics, and then tried to pass it off as something it's not. Just...really awful.And that's too bad, because the author has interesting ideas here, and an interesting story I wouldn't mind seeing the end of, necessarily. But not at the cost of having to plug through one more chapter of a poor excuse for a pastiche.

  • Lukas Lovas
    2019-05-28 13:38

    I actually liked the story itself, the main character and many aspects of the book. I just can't get over the narrative and the writing style....too much balast, too many empty words and phrases...on the one hand, I completely understand that you can't convey the majesty and magnificence of beings who exist outside our understanding using just "normal" words...but it's irritating when you try to convey their "beyondness" by stringing along several sophisticated sounding words in a nonsensical sentance. Anyway....the story takes a lot of time to blossom but the ending is both original and feels like a reward for your perseverance :) The picture this book paints is interesting, if a bit hard to understand... but again, very original and thought provoking. Worth a read, if you don't mind digging for meaning :)

  • Brendan
    2019-05-22 10:33

    An amazingly well-written pot boiler, combining angels, noir, quantum physics and philosophy into something I don't think has ever been done before. And it does it seamlessly. I found it hard to rate this book. The writing is top notch, the characterization is amazing, and the universe is spectacular. However, there is a twist near the end of the book that ruins my opinion of the book. The twist makes me want to rate it a two. I feel it undermines the premise of the entire book, and has left a foul taste in my mouth. Like, a really foul taste. Please, don't go into the book thinking you'll be satisfied with the end. Because if you're an astute reader, I don't think you'll leave satisfied. But it's a great journey, and I have to admire the skill it took in crafting such a unique vision. I admire that so much that I'm going against my better judgment and giving it four stars.

  • Kdawg91
    2019-05-30 06:44

    Mr. Tregillis crammed a noir 1940's detective novel sideways into a paranormal fantasy trip in the true weirdness that is heaven and this is what came out. A true mind trip of a book, it lost me for a minute but I found my way back out, when the story's twist and turns cross dimensions and space and time, it gets a bit tricky.A highly enjoyable romp, very recommended if you want your mind twisted a bit.

  • Hillary Pincus
    2019-05-29 13:58

    Can definitely tell Mr. Tregellis is a physicist in real life. I'm pretty bright but some of the language and concepts escaped me. I know there was a glossary with this book, but I just didn't care for it all that much. I loved the noir-detective novel angle and the concept, but I'm glad I didn't buy this as a hardcover.

  • Samantha
    2019-05-16 06:37

    I LOVED ian tregillis' alchemy wars series, which was the first stuff of his I'd read. I picked up this stand alone novel in the library - it's basically film noir detective/angelic host/quantum physics. in common with the alchemy wars, there's sciency (or alchemy-y) stuff that I feel like isn't super explained, or maybe I myself am glossing over it because that's not my forte. it was pretty mild in alchemy wars but this book had an intense amount of physics and I didn't know if tregillis actually knows stuff about physics or if he was just name dropping stuff. the physics is all in context of angels and world building - it didn't even really occur to me until just now what a mix of science and religion it is. and it didn't occur to me because the film noir stuff overpowers the book. one of the two main characters talks like he is a 30s or 40s or whatever detective, it's all rye whiskey and diner food and dangerous dames and thugs. I haven't read that stuff, so I can't say how inventive tregillis was with the language, but he seemed like he was being pretty inventive while also staying in the cliches of the genre. so good for him. however. I don't know if it was that alone, but I had a hard time getting through this book. I just couldn't read much at a stretch. I feel like I never read more than two chapters in a row. it was a slog. there was nothing I hated about it, I just wasn't feeling it, it wasn't compelling. the end though, when it wrapped up the mystery - that was very well done and satisfying and came a long way towards redeeming the book for me. if you ARE into noir detectives, wow, definitely read it. it was just a lot with the slang and the physics. the physics and the descriptions of angels, which, you know, aren't really physically possible or look uponable, and so, hard to describe. there is a cute bit where bayless, one of the protagonists, is talking to another strain of angel and he keeps reminding us that he's translating into noir slang, but that's just an approximate translation of a communication that isn't even in words. eh, it's fun. don't let my hard time discourage you. I think tregillis deserves to be more widely read.

  • Joel
    2019-06-02 07:34

    As much as I love Tregillis and his writing, and have adored most of his other books (I've read them all at this point I believe), this one just didn't click for me. I'm not sure if it was the subject matter, the style, or the execution, but it was a bit of a slog for me, despite the premise of the story being enjoyable. I think it probably was a good novel that was not as close to my wheelhouse as I anticipated it would be, so I won't blame the book for that, but I certainly just couldn't seem to adapt to the style.

  • Lizzie Andrews
    2019-05-24 12:57

    Now let me start off with one thing: the cover! Isn't it amazing? The color choices draw your eye right to it and its unique enough that you will stop and pick it up off a shelf just to read the back. I absolutely loved the black and white cover with the blood red angel wings. It's classy, attractive and almost promises to be enticing at first glance. OK, maybe it is because black, red and white are my favorite colors but I loved it. One of my guilty pleasures is noir detective novels, I could read them all day long. Now I know what your thinking, on this blog? Well it also has angels (we all know I love angel story lines, especially fallen angels), dirty little (and big) secrets and mystery. Sigh. I am in heaven and I haven't even told you any spoilers yet! OK, yes mixing all of these components into one book seems a bit off but Ian Tregillis pulls it off! It's unique, dystopian, gritty, angelic, mysterious and urban all in one. The best part of it is that it works. I don't know if I have read any other authors that could have pulled this off so well.Technically, this book is off the charts. The writing style is unique and amazing creating a world that you'll escape to in your head. The words that were chosen are descriptive and enlightening, not just filler.I really liked the narrator and main character Bayliss. He is of a different era, when you get to know him you start picturing classic movies and men dressed to the 9's smoking cigars. He was amazing through out the story. I really urge you to pick up a copy and read it, even if detective noir books aren't your cup of tea. It is a detective noir that crosses into fantasy and paranormal. A treat for all of us readers that can't decide on what genre we like best (like me). I received a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  • Linda Robinson
    2019-05-21 05:45

    They murdered one of the Seraphim tonight and now there's disharmony in the harmonious heavens. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the Seraphim may or may not run nature's numbers game, so somebody's gotta fill the gap. Bayliss, tapped for the job by the higher-ups, lurks under a streetlamp smoking, watching his target couple navigate the gritty snow. The man walks like a schlep. She walks like the world is made of red carpet. Bayliss took the job of plugging the hole in the hierarchy because he was afraid not to. The Seraphim slayer is somewhere close to earth where Bayliss has lived under the celestial radar for centuries. Whether he's afraid of the murderer or the entity who hired him is unclear. He's got a job to do and done it will get. Nothing is what it seems. No one is who they claim to be. Under any double set of wings may lurk a hoof or two, or a vast choral conspiracy with 10,000 centipede legs all going in different directions. This is classic hard-boiled detective grit with quarks and quasars instead of guns and garrottes: celestial chorus in place of cantankerous cops. Tregillis is a physicist who works at Los Alamos, so the man knows his intradimensional physics, and the writer knows his packed to the gunnels with babes and sinister stuff. Highly entertaining read, thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Janet
    2019-06-04 08:44

    Angels meets...physics? There's a few competing narratives in this book. There's the detective noir crime mystery, then they're the sciencey explanations for the existence of angels, then there's the Molly dealing with her death and rebirth as an angel and the consequences of that. I'll admit that I really didn't like the first 75% of this book, but I think the final resolution came together in an interesting way. I really disliked Bayliss as a narrator, I've realized that repetitive phrasings such as "that wasn't actually what she said" do really annoy me in books a lot. However, Molly grew on me quite a bit. I liked that she was a GLBT character that just was, it wasn't a big deal, and I thought was a great example of using a GLBT character without it feeling like it was either an agenda or being forced in. Would I recommend this book? I'm not sure. I'd say try a sample and see how you feel about Bayliss. If you're into him or can work past him, I think the eventual story is interesting and worth it.