Genre: Urban Fantasy
Paperback: 272 pages
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in Ghost Finders series, 3 books on contract
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I really love Simon Green’s Nightside series and also liked the first book in his Secret Histories Series (the only one I have read in that series so far). So when I heard he was starting a new paranormal series called Ghost Finders, I was eager to read the first book in the series. Overall it was okay, Green has created an interesting world but the characters were a bit cliche and hard to distinguish. I was hoping for more, but what was here is a start.
The book follows two teams of “ghost-hunters”. The first is the Carnacki Institute, the good guys. There team consists of JC Chance (a prodigy hunter), Melody Chambers (a woman very focused on her technology) and Happy Jack Palmer (a pill popping telepath). The second team are the Crowley Project (The evil team); this team features a La Femme Nakita kind of telepath and a psychotic surgeon. JC’s team are called on to help solve a problem in London’s Underground. The trains down there have gone wrong and are eating people. When JC and team arrive they find that something more evil than they could imaging has taken root. The Crowley Project is also there to try and harness the evil for their own purposes.
Let’s start with what I liked. Green does a great job with imagery and comes up with a lot of interesting and creative ideas. He’s not afraid to delve deep in the macabre and that makes things entertaining. This book was a bit creepy and horrific, but never went into that “too scary to read” region for me. Overall I liked the general idea of the characters and how the Carnacki Institute team was full of “good guys” with some bad vices. This series is a good idea and this book an interesting start.
Unfortunately this book really fell flat in a couple places for me. The characters are overly characterized and come off as clownish at times, which makes it hard to take the story seriously. The dialogue between them occasionally gets campy to the point of painfulness. There were a few times I wished one of the good guys would get eaten. It also drove me nuts that JC Chance fell in love at first sight with that ghost lady. It happened so suddenly and was so improbable that it was irritating; then to have his love for this ghost drive so much of the plot…well it pretty much drove me nuts.
Overall this was not one of Green’s best works. I would start with the Nightside series and then move on to the Secret Histories series before reading this one. That being said Green does set-up an interesting idea, world and characters in this book…the characters were just a bit too campy to pull it off. I will probably read the next book in the series just because I found some of the things Green did in this book intriguing. I am hoping that the next book does a better job with the characters and has a more believable plot.